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Tuition for resident undergraduates attending one of Iowa’s three public universities will increase 4.25 percent in the fall under a proposal the Board of Regents will first consider Monday.
A final vote on the rate proposal is scheduled for July — the month before affected students arrive at their respective campuses for the 2022-23 academic year. If approved, the undergraduate in-state tuition increases will amount to the following:
- A $355 bump at the University of Iowa, bringing total base tuition for the year from $8,356 to $8,711;
- A $345 increase at Iowa State University, bringing the total from $8,324 to $8,678;
- A $331 increase at University of Northern Iowa, bringing the total from $7,780 to $8,111.
Both ISU and UNI also aim to impose a 4.25-percent tuition increase on their out-of-state undergraduates, increasing non-resident tuition by $1,026 to $25,162 at ISU and by $785 to $19,265 at UNI.
The UI intends to impose a smaller 1.17-percent tuition increase on its non-resident undergrads, mirroring its in-state $355 increase for a total of $30,674 for the academic year.
The board office in its 2022-23 proposal made public Wednesday cited the five-year “undergraduate resident tuition rate guardrails” that regents established in 2018 tying increases at UI and ISU to state funding levels. According to that tuition-setting formula, rate increases for the upcoming academic year could have been as high as 5.6 percent, the board reported.
“If no incremental funding had been appropriated, the rate increase proposal would have been 6.7 percent based on that model,” according to board documents.
Instead, the Legislature approved a $6.2 million increase in regent appropriations, far short of the board’s requested $22.1 million bump — which would have brought its total state appropriation to $638.6 million for fiscal 2023.
The state appropriated a $5.5 million general education increase, about one-third of the request, plus $500,000 more the UI-based Family Practice Program.
In doling out that $5.5 million, the board said that each campus will see a 1.1 percent increase in its general state appropriations.
- The UI will see $2.4 million more, bringing its total general state appropriations to $218 million;
- ISU will receive $1.9 million more, bringing its total to $174.1 million;
- UNI will get $1.1 million more, upping its total to $99.4 million.
Justifying its proposed tuition increases, the regents cited recent state funding cuts — including a $7 million reduction in the 2021 budget year and the lack of any increase in the current budget year, which runs through June 30.
“While considering the state support, operating costs that may be absorbed through efficiencies and reallocations, and the expected inflationary impact to higher education budgets, the proposed tuition rates in this memorandum for the 2022-23 academic year includes base undergraduate resident increases of 4.25 percent at each university,“ according to board documents.
Graduate rate hikes
Like with undergraduate rates, all three Iowa universities also are proposing a 4.25 percent tuition hike for most in-state and out-of-state graduate students. Only the UI is proposing a lower 1.51 percent increase for non-resident grad students — keeping the annual dollar increase on par with the graduate in-state increase of $443.
The highest base tuition hike at the graduate level is $1,092 for out-of-state ISU students, who will see their total rate climb to $26,776.
Both UI and ISU are proposing some differential cost increases for specific colleges and programs. At the undergrad level, for example, the UI Tippie College of Business is proposing a 5.2 percent increase for its lower-division resident students and a 5.1 percent increase for upper-division resident students — along with an equal dollar increase for non-residents.
“This increase would provide support for additional staff to respond to growth areas in the college’s undergraduate program,” according to board documents.
The UI College of Nursing wants to increase undergraduate tuition rates 6 percent for residents and an equal dollar amount for non-residents due to “health care policies surrounding clinical experiences which are increasing the costs to provide quality clinical experiences to students.”
UI officials have proposed more modest changes for some graduate programs, including its College of Law and College of Medicine. UI med students would see no increase and physician assistant students would experience a 2 percent increase for residents and a 1 percent bump for non-residents.
All three campuses also are proposing annual mandatory fee increases amounting to $56 more at the UI, $145 more at ISU and $27 more at UNI.
“In addition, UI requests that both the Student Health and mental health fees be prorated to all students similar to the other mandatory fees, including those below five credit hours,” according to board documents. "The proposed mental health fee increase of $1 will support higher personnel costs and enhanced suicide prevention programs for students, faculty, and staff.“
If the proposed rate and fee increases achieve final board approval next month, the total cost of attendance for each campus’ resident undergraduates will be:
- $26,686 at the UI;
- $23,470 at ISU;
- $21,988 at UNI.
All three universities currently have the second-lowest resident undergraduate tuition and fee rates among their respective peer groups. UNI ranks in the middle of its pack in non-resident undergraduate rates, while UI and ISU have the least expensive non-resident undergrad rates among their peers.
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