Governor Terry Branstad says the board that governs the state’s three public universities should “seriously look at” an across-the-board tuition increase of $200 for all students.
It’s less than what the Board of Regents is considering, but Branstad is praising student government leaders at the University of Iowa for offering that alternative.
“Instead of just saying: ‘No, we don’t want to have any increase,’ they acknowledge there is a need for resources for the universities,” Branstad says. “But I think they’ve offered a reasonable compromise.”
The Board of Regents is considering a $300 increase in fall semester tuition rates for students who are Iowa residents, plus larger increases for out-of-state students at Iowa State and Iowa and for all graduate students at Iowa. Branstad is signalling the board should give “serious consideration” to doing something different when it votes on the proposed tuition hikes in July.
“They need to be cognizant of the impact that the tuition and fees have on the students and their families,” Branstad says.
The Board of Regents asked Branstad and the state legislature to provide an extra $20 million in state taxpayer support for the budget year that begins July 1. Branstad says the economic reality is the state isn’t collecting as much in taxes as had been predicted last year.
“Under these financial circumstances, nobody could expect to get that level of increase,” Branstad says.
The governor recommended about $8 million and legislators settled on an increase of about $6 million for the three universities. The set of tuition increases that have been drafted by staff for the Board of Regents would raise nearly $20 million more for Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa.