The University of Iowa is proposing a 7.08 percent tuition increase in each of the next five years. The school presented its plan Monday to the Board of Regents’ Tuition Task Force.
UI President Bruce Harreld presented a five-year tuition plan that would put the University of Iowa’s resident tuition at $10,537 in 2022—about a 40 percent increase from this year's price of $7,128. Non-resident students would see a 2.08 percent increase each year, bringing tuition from $29,130 to $32,288 in 2022.
Harreld says the plan includes an increase in merit-based scholarships and financial aid.
"We can’t just take up tuition and not also set aside, if you will, an appropriate amount for student financial aid," Harreld says.
The plan is based on the premise that state appropriations stay at current levels. Harreld says if more cuts are made, he will have to look at changing this proposal.
Harreld says the increase would bring the University of Iowa up to the middle of its peer group in terms of tuition by 2022. He says the funding would help recruit and retain faculty.
UI Student Government President Jacob Simpson says he would support moderate tuition increases, but 7 percent each year is not affordable.
"Though as tuition increases, financial aid must be configured so that students who need the support receive it," Simpson says. "Financial aid may be increasing proportionally to tuition, but that does not rid the issues that students already face."
Simpson says financial aid should rise more than proportionally with tuition.
Several Democratic lawmakers and UI students told the tuition task force they do not think a 7 percent annual increase is affordable, and they urged the board to lobby the Iowa Legislature for more funding.
The Board of Regents made a last-minute decision to increase UI resident tuition by 5 percent this fall in response to additional state funding cuts.