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Regents Approve University Tuition Hikes; Board Member Slams State Budget Cuts

Iowa State University
Wikimedia Commons
Iowa State University

As Iowa’s Board of Regents voted to increase college tuition Thursday, one board member called recent budget cuts to higher education the “worst state government attack” he’s seen on Iowa’s public universities.

“I view it that way when we are taking three great universities downhill,” said Regent Larry McKibben, a former Republican state lawmaker. “And for me as a board member, to see that happen is extremely difficult.” 

McKibben said Iowa’s universities are losing talented faculty and researchers to states with more competitive salaries. He also said they don't have enough money to properly fund scholarships. 

Resident undergraduate tuition at the University of Iowa and Iowa State will increase 3.8 percent and University of Northern Iowa resident students will see a 2.8 percent increase. There are varying increases for nonresident students and for some specific majors.

“Iowans need to understand that this is probably the low side of tuition in the future, in the next years to come, if we do not get any more government support from the state of Iowa,” McKibben said.

He questioned how the state would be able to grow its economy if Iowa’s universities go “downhill.”

The regents unanimously approved the tuition hikes, and no other board members commented on the proposal at Thursday’s meeting.

The state’s public universities were hit with millions of dollars in mid-year budget cuts this year and in 2017. The rollbacks were part of the legislature and governor’s efforts to deal with a state revenue shortfall.

View the full tuition changes here.