IOWA CITY As Iowa lawmakers keep cutting funding for higher education and university administrators keep looking for ways to do more with less help from the Capitol, University of Iowa student leaders are taking it upon themselves to help peers pay off lingering debts that prevent them from graduating.

UI Student Government has been collaborating with campus partners this spring to fund a pilot program called the Hawkeye Completion Grant, aimed at helping students pay outstanding university bill balances at the end of the term.