The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Tuition may rise again


Another tuition increase at the University of Iowa could be on the horizon, even after the state Board of Regents voted to raise tuition in December for the next academic year.

The regents had requested approximately $21 million from the state appropriations. This would go to the general funds of the three Iowa universities — $4.5 million for the UI, $8.2 million for Iowa State University, and $7.7 million for the University of Northern Iowa.

With this sum of money, the regents said they could guarantee a tuition freeze for the three schools in the next academic year, said Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, D-Arlington. However, the Legislature only allocated $6 million for the regents.

“I can’t say what the Board of Regents will do regarding tuition increases, but I know my colleagues and I will work hard to provide as much funding for our state’s universities as is possible this year,” Schoenjahn said.

Although the final numbers are not in yet, Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, said the regents will be allocated as much of its request as possible.

RELATED: Regents boost UI tuition

“This is a tight fiscal year, so chances are we can’t give everybody everything they want, so we’re going to have to fund everything to a fair standard of all the different agencies,” he said. “So if there isn’t enough for the colleges to function with what we give them, they will have to make up that shortfall somewhere.”

Kraayenbrink said it’s too early to say yet if these shortfalls will cause an increase in tuition.

“There are a lot of unanswered questions, and we haven’t gotten to the allocations, so we’re a long way away from saying there’s going to be a tuition increase or freeze,” he said.

In December 2015, UI tuition was raised 3 percent for in-state undergraduate students and 1.9 percent for graduate students and out-of-state undergraduate students for the next academic year. Tuition remained frozen at ISU and UNI because tuition at those two schools was raised for the 2016 spring semester.

During the October regents’ meeting, UI Graduate and Professional Student Government President Joshua Schoenfeld said he supported the tuition increase because he knew it was necessary, but he stressed that higher education needs to stay affordable. Liz Mills, the UI Student Government president, had a similar belief.

Now, with another increase looming, Schoenfeld said the UI needs the $4.5 million requested by the regents from the state in order to maintain the status quo without having a large tuition increase.

“It would be really unfortunate if the state couldn’t fund that, especially considering the amount of money they’re giving to big business and special-interest groups,” Schoenfeld said. “They should continue to show at least a small commitment to funding education.”

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About the Contributor
Katelyn Weisbrod
Katelyn Weisbrod, Projects Editor
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @katelyn_eliz Katelyn Weisbrod is the Projects Editor at The Daily Iowan. Katelyn is a senior at the University of Iowa and has been a part of the DI since her freshman year. She covered sustainability and environmental issues as a news reporter for one year, and served as news editor for a year. As managing editor, she focused on digital strategy and production of long-form articles, while still reporting on environmental issues.