The nine-member board that governs Iowa, Iowa State and U.N.I. voted last night to raise tuition rates for the next academic year. The average increase of 4.2 percent for undergraduate students who are Iowa residents amounts to about $20 more per month.
Board of Regents president David Miles spoke after the board had debated the issue for an hour and a half. "I thank everyone for their willingness to express their views in a respectful manner and on a challenging issue," Miles said.
According to Miles, "time will tell" as to whether higher tuition rates will put college out of reach for more students. "It is a difficult decision," Miles said. "I know no one wants to burden Iowa families or students any more than absolutely necessary."
Miles and five other regents voted for the tuition hike. Board members Ruth Harkin and Michael Gartner voted against it. Gartner suggested the universities do a little belt-tightening.
"I think it’s easier for the universities to sacrifice to find that money than it is for the parents who are being laid off or who are taking pay cuts, whose future is uncertain, to try to borrow more money to be able to send their children to college," Gartner said.
University officials say they’ve already made $7 million worth of cuts in their budgets this year due to declining state revenues.
Under the plan approved by the Board of Regents last night, University of Iowa and Iowa State University students would see a 4.6percent increase in tuition and fees, while students at the University of Northern Iowa would see a 4.1 percent increase.
The increase means U-of-I students would pay $6,824; Iowa State University students would pay $6,650 and University of Northern Iowa students would pay $6,636 in tuition and fees next academic year.