The Board of Regents approved the first reading of a proposal that would increase the tuition at the University of Iowa by 3 percent next fall. The move would bring the U-I into line with the tuition charged at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa, which was raised three percent in September for this spring semester.
The U-I tuition was not increased for the spring after student body president Elizabeth Mills, argued students weren’t ready for a mid-year increase. Mills told the regents Thursday she is okay with the proposal to raise the tuition in the fall.
“The past three tuition freezes have been incredibly beneficial for Iowa students and their families. They have had an expected tuition that can be planned and allowed access to a quality affordable education within the state of Iowa,” Mills says. “Now I believe and my fellow students believe that we have reached a point that in order to maintain the quality of education at the University of Iowa, a modest increase in tuition — like the three percent proposed rate — can help the university go to the next level.”
She says she understands the need for the tuition increase. “I believe that student tuition money should be going to educational support and services that directly impact their educational experience. Which is why I stand by the spring tuition freeze for U-I students,” Mills says.
University of Northern Iowa student body president, Katie Evans says students on the Cedar Falls campus, says students have looked at the tuition situation in many ways. She says for example, a senior seminar class in political science came to the consensus that tuition increases when justified are acceptable. “Justifications for example are when tuition is used to offer more and better services to students,” Evans says.
Evans says the students on the UNI campus understand how an increase can help them. “While many students ideologically differ about how college should be funded, we all for the most part agree that in the status quo there should be increases,” Mills says. Iowa State University student body president, Dan Breitbarth, told the board in September the expanding enrollment required more funds for the school. He says that still remains an issue.
“The students I represent are definitely happy to hear after agreeing to shoulder more of the load this spring, that they are relieved to hear of another increase in the fall. Again, to echo the comments that have been made before me — there is still a need for additional resources at Iowa State University,” Breitbarth says. Breitbarth says students don’t want to see the quality of education erode.
“We want to make sure that our wonderful faculty and staff continue to receive salary increases that are competitive nationwide. And we want to be able to provide for increasing student resources that our student body continues to need as well,” Breitbarth says.
The is also an increase in mandatory fees being proposed. The fees will go up $21 at the U-I, $33 at ISU and $42 at UNI. This was the first reading of the tuition increase proposal. The board will take a final vote on the issue at their meeting in December.