UI reinstates previously cut scholarships

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UI reinstates previously cut scholarships

Vladimir Kulikov

Vladimir Kulikov

Vladimir Kulikov


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By Charles Peckman

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A UI press release Wednesday announced that five scholarships would be reinstated after they were eliminated last week.

The Iowa Heritage Award, Iowa Heritage Transfer Award, President’s Heritage Award, 2 Plus 2 Transfer Scholarship, and Iowa Community College Transfer Academic Scholarship have all been reinstated for current students as well as incoming students for the fall of 2017.

In the release, UI President Bruce Harreld thanked students, parents, and alumni who contacted him with concerns about the cuts.

“The University of Iowa takes its relationship with students and alumni very seriously and wants to honor the awards previously made to those currently receiving these awards,” Harreld said in the statement.

Although the scholarships have been reinstated, the press release said, continuing these scholarships after the $9.2 million reduction in state funding will not be easy.

“Over the past few days I have had productive conversations with members of the Board of Regents, the governor, and the Iowa General Assembly,” Harreld said in the statement. “I appreciate their willingness to establish predictable tuition revenue increases and state support moving forward.”

In a statement, Regent President Bruce Rastetter agreed with Harreld’s statement.

“The Board of Regents realizes continuing these scholarships while absorbing a $9.2 million cut in state funding places the University of Iowa in a very difficult financial situation,” he said. “The board looks forward to working with the UI to resolve this short-term issue.”

As UI student Jenna Pokorny sat down for dinner on Feb. 23, she was shocked to receive two emails from the UI revoking scholarships she had been awarded.

“I received the Iowa Heritage Award and the President’s Heritage award,” she said. “These scholarships heavily influenced my decision to come to Iowa.”

Once Pokorny talked to her family about the cuts, they collectively decided to talk to a lawyer.

Although the reductions were withdrawn early in the legal process, Pokorny said she and her legal team had every intention of continuing the suit.

“We had been seeking a temporary injunction,” Pokorny said. “We were ready to move forward when this happened.”

Because of the reinstatement of her scholarships, Pokorny said, she feels reassured.

“I definitely would have stayed at Iowa, because transferring would have been expensive,” she said. “Apart from this whole scholarship debacle, I have enjoyed my time at Iowa.

“From what I’ve gathered from talking to my friends, everyone has gotten their scholarships back. This makes me feel super relieved.”

UI freshman Enrique Carbajal was equally dismayed to hear he had lost his scholarship.

“I was given the Iowa Heritage Award because both my mom and dad went to the University of Iowa,” he said. “I was shocked to hear my scholarship had been revoked.”

Carbajal said at first, he was hesitant to tell his parents about the cut.

“I didn’t want to tell [my parents] at first — even though the scholarship doesn’t cover all of tuition, I didn’t know if it would affect my attendance at Iowa,” he said.

Once he received the email reinstating his scholarship, Carbajal said he was relieved.

“I was talking to some friends, and we were all pretty freaked out about it,” he said. “I’m pretty excited that they’ve given the scholarships back.”

It is unclear what the implications of reinstating these scholarships will be on the $9.2 million hit the UI took this year.

Both Harreld and Rastetter repeated that reinstating the scholarships is a short-term fix, but the $9.2 million will be tougher to grapple with.