Interim ISU President Ben Allen.

Iowa State University is proposing an increase in tuition for undergraduate residents of 7 percent for each of the next 5 years.

Interim president Ben Allen unveiled the proposal during the second Board of Regents Tuition Task Force meeting. He says the proposed increases are based on a couple of assumptions.

“Our general operating state appropriations will remain flat. Our enrollment will remain flat. The HEPI index rate will be 2.14. The HEPI is the inflation rate used in higher education, and 2.14 is the average for the last five years,” Allen says.

Allen’s proposal recommends a 4 percent increase for nonresident undergraduates and different increases for students majoring in engineering, business and some science, technology and experiential learning programs that have a higher cost of delivering those programs. He says increasing tuition is only part of the plan.

“We are planning to take an even more aggressive approach to efficiency. We are committing to a 2.25 percent in annual cost reallocations,” Allen says.

Allen told the committee enrollment at Iowa State has surged by 37 percent since 2009 — while state funding per resident student has declined 30 percent over the same period. He says the school is starting to lose faculty members because they have not increased their salaries. And he says the increase in tuition would allow them to hire more faculty and drop the student to faculty ratio.

Allen says the increases will not make tuition at Iowa State too expensive when compared to other schools. He says Iowa State’s resident tuition is currently second to last among the American Association of Universities public schools and the nonresident tuition is second to last among all AAU schools.

“Even with the prescribe increases, we will still remain one of the most affordable AAU institutions by far,” according to Allen. He says the tuition proposal assumes that the school would not get any new money from the state in each of the next five years — but says ISU will continue pushing state leaders to increase funding.

“Our students deserve it, and frankly our state needs it,” Allen says. “The state can’t expect 128,000 Iowans to earn post-secondary degrees over the next eight years to meet the state workforce needs while at the same time shifting much of the burden of the cost of public higher education to the students and their families.”

The proposal would add $522 to the base tuition of resident students starting in fall 2018.

The Board of Regents Tuition Task Force heard the proposal from the University of Northern Iowa on Monday and will hear from the University of Iowa on Monday.