Students are speaking out against changes in tuition policies at Iowa, Iowa State and U-N-I. The board that governs the state universities met in Ames yesterday to review a host of changes, such as charging higher tuition rates to juniors and seniors; charging higher tuition for majors like engineering; and setting tuition rates based on the number of credit hours a student is taking. Mary Ellen Becker, a member of the Board of Regents, worries charging juniors and seniors higher tuition rates will prompt more students to drop out. She says if they don’t complete the courses, they may drop out and not have the money to pay off their loans. University of Iowa student body president Nate Green fears students will select their majors based on the price rather than their interest in the subject. Some argue students who graduate with an engineering degree earn more when they get out of college, so they can afford a higher tuition rate while they’re in school. University of Northern Iowa president Robert Koob doubts students are that forward-looking. Koob says students are more likely to make their choices based on their current finances rather than their future earning power. Neila Arnould, the student-member of the Board of Regents, is uncomfortable with the proposal that would link tuition rates to the number of credit hours, as she believes it will cut down on the number of elective classes students take. Arnould says she’d hate to see students loose the ability to “load up” on classes in subjects they may never be able to study again in their lives. But Robert Downer, a member of the Board of Regents, says students who “load up” on credit hours each semester could end up saving money in the long run.Downer says students could finish their degrees a semester early, and that makes the idea “worthy of exploration.” The Board of Regents have appointed a task force to review the alternative tuition rate ideas, and the group is to issue a report in February.
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