Board of Regents approves tuition raises, welcomes President Wilson

Undergraduates at Iowa will see an increase of $336.50 for base tuition and mandatory fees and graduate students will see an increase of $399.50.


Natalie Dunlap, News Editor

Board of Regents members voted unanimously to increase tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 school year at the University of Iowa, Iowa State, and the University of Northern Iowa during the regents meeting in Cedar Falls on Wednesday. 

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the proposed tuition and fees increase residential and non-residential undergraduate base tuition at UI by $283 and increase mandatory fees $53.50. The proposal also increases base tuition for graduate students in and out-of-state by $353 and increases mandatory fees by $46.50. 

As the result of these increases, the total base tuition and mandatory fees at University of Iowa will be $9,942 for resident undergrads and $31,905 for non-resident undergrads in the 2021-2022 school year. The total base tuition and mandatory fees for graduate residents will be $12,065 and for graduate non-residents it will be $31,012.

At ISU, the total base tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate students will increase $318 for in-state students and $942 for out-of-state students. At UNI, there will be a $115 increase of total base tuition and mandatory fees for in-state students and a $273 increase for out-of-state students.

For graduate students, Iowa State is raising the total base tuition and mandatory fees $418 for residents and $1,000 for non-residents. Northern Iowa is raising the total base tuition and fees $137 for resident graduate students and $295 for non-resident grad students. 

In addition to base tuition increases, the UI and ISU are requesting different tuition rates for higher-cost undergraduate and graduate programs.

During fiscal year 2022, the regents requested an increase of $18 million from the general assembly and restoration of an $8 million cut from 2021, but the Iowa Legislature has leveled state funding, as previously reported by the DI.  

Regents President Michael Richards said regent universities have found ways to be efficient and keep administrative costs low compared to their peers, but despite those efforts costs have continued to rise over the last two years. 

“We still need financial resources to provide a quality education for our students,” Richards said during the Wednesday meeting. “We always try to find the right balance to provide those resources for keeping the cost to the students and their families as affordable as possible. Our goal is to provide quality, affordable, and accessible education.”

Wednesday served as Barbara Wilson’s first regents meeting as UI president. She was welcomed by several at the meeting, including Richards, who said he was optimistic about her leadership. 

“During the search process, President Wilson showed the board that she has the vision, skills and decision making ability to lead the University of Iowa,” he said. 

In a meeting with the press on July 20, Wilson said the regents don’t take the issue of raising tuition lightly. 

“They think very carefully about these issues, as do we,” Wilson said. Affordability is crucial for all of us… When you think about higher ed, and the cost that we face, if the state isn’t going to increase our budget, we don’t have very many other places to support the university.”

RELATED: President Wilson talks tuition, state funding fluctuations

She said the UI’s goal is to be as affordable as possible. 

Wilson told the regents on Wednesday that she’s spent hours visiting faculty, staff, and community members since she arrived on campus. 

“I knew that the University of Iowa was a special place before I arrived, but everything that I’ve learned since then has only confirmed that,” she said. “This is an amazing university and I’ve spent time learning about the exceptional programs and writing and communication across the curriculum. The health care activities and enterprise and even our work in fighting COVID; it’s all been exceptional and confirmed to me that the University of Iowa is truly one of the finest universities in the country.”

She said the university is using the funds for the public-private partnership one time resources to support students through a holistic approach that takes into account academic success, health and wellness, career aspirations, and financial support. 

“During the pandemic, we know that mental health, for example, is going to be all the more critical, that we pay attention to students’ well-being, that we ensure that we’re gonna take special care to make sure they can come back to our universities and feel comfortable and confident and connected with other people,” Wilson said. “That will be part of what we are doing on the mental and physical well-being side, but that will connect to academic success. So, again, a very holistic approach.”