Bruce Rastetter

Bruce Rastetter

The prospects of extending the tuition freeze for in-state students at the three state supported universities beyond this fall is still up in the air.

Board of Regents President, Bruce Rastetter, says the plan for holding tuition steady was based on getting Iowa legislators to boost appropriations by 1.75 percent — which didn’t happen.

“I think it’s a difficult budget year, and it was clearly exhibited by the length of the legislative session,” Rastetter says. Rastetter says he feels good about the additional funding the legislature did give them, including the 1.25 percent additional funding. But he says the additional funding can’t go to base budgets of the schools.

“We just yesterday learned that 1.25 percent can only be used on one-time expenditures. So, we’re going to pull all that together with the institution heads and decide whether tuition can remain frozen next spring, or whether there needs to be an increase. And I’ll just wait for those numbers from the institutions before I make a recommendation to the board,” Rastetter says.

Rastetter stopped short of saying the legislature’s appropriation is a deal-breaker on extending the tuition freeze beyond the fall semester but added that students and their parents deserve an immediate decision for their fall bill. Rastetter says regardless of the final outcome of the legislative session, they should keep the tuition where it’s this fall at and see if they have enough money to continue the freeze for the spring semester.

The regents met Thursday at Iowa State University in Ames.