(The Center Square) – The Iowa Board of Regents unanimously approved tuition increases July 28 for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The board froze tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board had requested an increased appropriation from the state of $18 million for the 2022 fiscal year, which covers the 2021-2022 academic year. Legislators chose to freeze state funding for general university appropriations for Iowa State University (ISU), the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa (UNI).
“While considering the frozen state support, and operating costs that may be absorbed through efficiencies and reallocations, the proposed tuition rates in this memorandum for the 2021-22 academic year include base undergraduate resident increases of $283 at SUI (University of Iowa), $282 at ISU, and $115 at UNI,” a board document said.
Mandatory fees increased $36 for all students at ISU and $53.50 for all students at the University of Iowa. Fees at the University of Iowa included a $7 to $30 increase to “fund inflationary increases in IT expenditures to support students and help cover the increasing costs of purchasing existing databases in the Law Library,” a $10 increase to the health fee to support “rising personnel, fringe, pharmaceutical, information system, and supply costs,” $9 for the campus activities center, and $7.50 to pay two more staff members to support after-hours response to students’ mental health needs, along with increases for career services and the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center debt service schedule. ISU had requested a $4 increase to the Memorial Union event center building fee, $19 for CyRide’s transportation services, and $23 (offset by a $10 decrease in the health facility fee) for the student health center.
Including mandatory fees, undergraduate tuition for the full 2021-2022 academic year at the state’s universities is $9,942 for residents and $31,905 for non-residents at Iowa, $9,633.90 for residents and $25,445.90 for non-residents at ISU, and $9,053 for residents and $19,753 at University of Northern Iowa.
“The regents really do try to keep the cost to the students as low as we can and still keep the quality up there where it belongs, and I think that, with your help and leadership, it’s quite a benefit to the students as a whole,” University of Iowa’s student government Vice President Walt Wang said told university student leaders who spoke at the June 24 Board of Regents meeting regarding the proposed tuition increases. “I thank each one of you in your different roles.”
The tuition increase followed The University of Iowa and Iowa State University receiving record-setting combined external funding of more than $1 billion in fiscal year 2021.
The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved a budget in early July that did not increase tuition, though it did increase fees by $160 next year for students at the Madison campus. The University of Colorado and Colorado State University announced they would increase tuition by about 3% for the upcoming academic year.