April 16, 2014

Regents plan to discuss tuition set aside issue

The State Board of Regents plans to hold a full hearing in June on the program that sets aside a portion of tuition paid by students at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa to pay for scholarships for needy students.

During the regent’s meeting today in Cedar Falls, Regent Robert Downer of Iowa City says there are misconceptions about how the program works. ”I think there’s been a perception on the part of some that tuition revenues go into a bucket, and that 15 to 20-percent of that bucket comes out and goes to someone else. And that’s not the case,” Downer said.

The regents’ chief financial officer, Patrice Sayre, says about 25,000 Iowa residents are receiving tuition assistance averaging $3,900 a year. She said many of them would drop out without the tuition assistance. Republicans in the Iowa House raising questions about the tuition setaside policy.

Representative Scott Raecker, a Republican from Urbandale, has been in the legislature since 1999, but Raecker said earlier this month that he had just learned about the long-standing policy in the past few months.