The Board of Regents today discussed the proposal to hold the line on tuition for in-state undergraduate students, while making a small increase in the cost for graduate and out-of-state students. Iowa State University student body president, Jared Knight, told the regents there’s a concern about the impact on graduate students.
“I’d like to point out to the board that this two-point-three-five percent increase is equal to the cost of a month’s rent, or three weeks for a work-study student of 20 hours a week of working. Undergraduates at Iowa State come out all right, but graduate and professional students have expressed a deep concern over this proposal,” Knight said.
Knight said the students are also concerned about the mounting costs of the fees charged on top of tuition. “Tuition is obviously a big part of the total cost of college, but the program and common fees add up to a significant expense over four to six years,” Knight explained.
“To add or drop a class, you have to pay a fee, to get a transcript, you have to pay a fee, to graduate, you have to pay a fee. There’s the transparent cost of college in tuition and mandatory fees, and then there’s the hidden costs and the nickel and dime charges that add up to hundreds of dollars.”
University of Northern Iowa student body president, Jordan Bancroft-Smithe, said he is concerned about the freeze on undergraduate tuition because of the number of in-state students on campus. “I feel like at this time it is very important for me to note that 90-point-four percent of UNI students, graduate and undergraduate, are resident students,” Bancroft-Smithe said.
“Therefore it should be noted that 90-point-four percent of our incoming tuition dollars would be frozen as well. A situation that is wildly different from…our sister institutions, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.” UNI implemented several budget cuts this spring to cut costs, and Bancroft-Smithe says the student senate took that into consideration in making a decision on the tuition freeze.
“It is with a heavy heart and strong convictions that the University of Northern Iowa student government declares that it does not support the tuition freeze for the 2013 and 2014 academic year,” Bancrofte-Smith said. “Many of the students who were talked to by their senators saw the potential future damages and uncertainties as not worth the momentary short-term reprieve from the every increasing tuition burden that college students face every year.”
UNI president, Ben Allen, told the regents the he also was concerned about the impact of the freeze on the school because of the high number of in-state students. But Allen said after looking at the factors he supports the freeze.
“My decision to say ‘yes let’s go with no increase’, is based upon some issues about the fact that our great students come from families that have fewer resources that allow them to go to college, and we appreciate their effort to be at UNI,” Allen explained.
University of Iowa president, Sally Mason told the board she proposed the tuition freeze with the idea that there would be efforts to raise more money for scholarships and aid for students. She says the U-I will begin a three-year, 259-million-dollar fundraising campaign in May. Mason said over half of the money will go to undergraduate student aid.
Iowa State and UNI also have campaigns planned for the same issue. Regents president, Craig Lang, said the tuition freeze is based on the approval of more state money for the schools, including an additional four-million dollars for UNI. He says if that money is not appropriated, the board will have to take another look at raising tuition.
The board will take a vote on the tuition proposal at its November meeting.