A committee is examining a proposal that would allow the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls to give a discounted out-of-state rate on tuition for students from bordering states. UNI admissions director, Christie Kangas says the idea came from the parents of the border state students.

“We’ve been recruiting out-of-state, both in Illinois and Minnesota for several years, and one of the questions that usually comes up from the parents is the affordability of coming to UNI and paying our out-of-state tuition rates. Which is going to be approaching about 16-thousand (dollars) this year,” Kangas explains.

She says the idea is not new, as Minnesota has a reciprocity agreement with border states on tuition. “I don’t know all the particulars of it, but in some cases basically you are paying the in-state rate when you go to an out-of-state school,” Kangas says.  The state of Iowa is not part of the Minnesota reciprocity agreement.

UNI has seen some enrollment concerns in the past few years, and getting more students from outside the state could help. For the other two state schools, Iowa State University has about 45-percent of its students coming from out-of-state, while the University of Iowa has around 39-percent. At UNI, 90-percent of the students are from Iowa.

“If we are ever going to grow our out-of-state enrollment, we need some kind of differential there that would make the university attractive to students from other states on the affordability factor,” Kangas says. It is an economic issue for the Cedar Falls school, but Kangas says there are also other reasons.

Kangas says, “Classrooms I think would benefit too, because thinking of geographical diversity, we would be bringing other students into our classroom that would experiences in life and living that may be different than some of our Iowans.”

The issue to be approved by the Board of Regents  before any changes would be made.

(Note: This story was updated on 7/31/2013 to correct information given that the prosposal is  being reviewed by a subcommitted of the Board of Regents.  It is only being considered by the university at this time.)