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Proposed tuition hike at Iowa universities to cost students $793 annually

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(The Center Square) – A plan to hike tuition at Iowa’s three public universities could add $35 million in incremental revenue for fiscal year 2025, according to information released by the Iowa Board of Regents.

The board is considering a proposal to increase the annual cost by an average of $793.67, with University of Iowa students experiencing the most significant increase at $885 per year.

The undergraduate resident tuition increases are 3% for residents at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, with the increase at the University of Northern Iowa rising by 2%. Rates for non-resident students will increase from a low of 1.3% at the University of Iowa to 4.5% at Iowa State University.

“Funding from the proposed tuition increases will help address growing financial challenges, including inflationary cost increases, recruiting and retaining faculty and staff in national markets, meeting collective bargaining terms, deferred maintenance needs in academic facilities, and student financial aid to provide higher education opportunities to more students,” the proposal, presented at Friday’s meeting, said.

Tuition rates for some programs are also increasing. The Radiation Sciences Program at the Carver School of Medicine at the University of Iowa will increase by $1,617. The Ivy College of Business at Iowa State is proposing an increase of $1,340 for residents and $2476 for non-residents. If approved by the Board of Regents, tuition for the nursing program will increase by $1,944 to help cover the costs of simulation and lab equipment, according to the proposal.

Graduate school tuition would also increase if the proposal is greenlighted.

Education is affected by inflation, the proposal said.

“While the Board determines tuition increases well in advance of the actual expenditure of funds, the Board considers inflation’s impact in evaluating tuition and fee rates,” the proposal said. “According to a report released by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 10, 2024, core inflation (which excludes food and energy due to their volatility) exceeded 5.5% in 2021 and 2022 before slowing to 3.9% in 2023. The annual core inflation rate for the 12 months ending in March 2024 was 3.8%.”

The $35 million generated by the increases is about 1.95% of the current total general education fund operating budget, according to the board.

Students would face fee increases as well.

At the University of Iowa, fees would increase by 2.5%, 1.3% at Iowa State University and 3% at the University of North Iowa.

The Board of Regents could vote on the rate increases at its next meeting in June.

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