Students from Iowa who attend the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa will pay the same tuition rate in the next academic year as was charged this year.
A compromise education budget bill has cleared the legislature that provides almost all the extra money the Board of Regents said the three universities needed to make that tuition freeze possible. The University of Northern Iowa’s allotment was short by a little less than $2 million, but the tuition freeze will happen anyway. That angers Representative Bob Kressig, a Democrat from Cedar Falls.
“We’re talking about $1.775 million for a Regents school that has 92 percent of their students are Iowa kids and we’re going to short change them. That’s what we’re doing here today,” Kressig said late last night. “I think this is disappointing.”
Representative Cecil Dolecheck, a Republican from Mount Ayr, told Kressig there isn’t any extra in the budget to give UNI.
“We do not have enough room in our target, when we fund all the other priorities that are there, so we had to work within that framework,” Dolecheck said.
Representative Cindy Winckler, a Democrat from Davenport, said that target leaves an unspent ending balance of $881 million.
“Limiting resources to education is not necessary,” Winckler said.
Despite those complaints, the Iowa House and Senate last night passed the overall spending plan for education. Senator Brian Schoenjahn, a Democrat from Arlington, urged legislators to vote for the bill.
“Although we could not fund every single dollar for all of our asks, I believe that we have delivered on a promise to our families to keep tuition affordable and keep our student debt as under control as we possibly can,” Schoenjahn said.
This will be the second year tuition has been frozen in place for undergraduate students at the three state universities who are residents of Iowa.