Recently, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa released their five-year tuition projections.
- University of Iowa: 7% increase each year for the next five years (Base tuition would go from $7,486 to $10,537)
- Iowa State University: 7% increase each year for the next five years (Base tuition would go from $7,456 to $10,457)
- University of Northern Iowa: 2.5% average increase each year for the next five years
I'm pleased that my alma mater has proposed a way to keep tuition increases relatively low, but I am concerned about the level of increases to be shouldered by families and students across the state.
According to the Institute for College Access & Success, the average debt upon graduation for college graduates last year in Iowa was $29,732.
Gov. Kim Reynolds has said, "That is too much. There is no way that Iowa families could afford a seven percent increase over five years. And so I would encourage the Regents to, you know, let’s take a look at what’s manageable and keep in the forefront doing everything we can do to keep higher education costs, post-secondary costs down.”
I agree with Gov. Reynolds that the proposed increases are too much and will put too much of a financial burden on families and students but we disagree on the next step. I believe the state legislature needs to take a hard look at the level of funding provided to our state schools to provide the support needed to keep the doors of a college education open to everyone.