Dec. 10, 2008
Regents approve tuition rates for 2009-10
by Anne Krapfl
Tuition at Iowa State for resident Iowans, both undergraduate and graduate, will go up 4.2 percent next year, following approval by the state Board of Regents Dec. 10. Tuition for non-residents will go up 2.8 percent. Mandatory student fees -- which support services such as computers, health services, recreation services and student activities -- will go up a proposed 7 percent for undergraduates and 7.4 percent for graduate students.
The approved rates mirror what was proposed at the board's October meeting, but the final decision didn't come without a fight.
Proposals by board members to lower the tuition increase for resident undergraduates to 2.6 percent and 3.2 percent (the 2008-09 increase rate) were defeated after much discussion. Regents Michael Gartner and Ruth Harkin argued for no tuition increases in light of the weakening economy and were the dissenting votes in the final 6-2 vote (Regent Bonnie Campbell was absent).
"Times are getting worse," Gartner said. "Fifteen million dollars (roughly the net revenue increase to the three regent universities the approved tuition package will provide) is a whole lot of money, but in the greater scheme of things, it's probably easier for the universities to find that money than for families to find it."
In his comments to board members prior to the vote, president Gregory Geoffroy asked them to approve the rate increases and allow financial aid professionals at the universities to work with students on case-by-case financial aid packages that would allow them to stay in school.
"[A lower tuition increase] reduces our flexibility, our ability to work with them to help get them through these tough years," he said. Iowa State sets aside 20 to 21 percent of gross tuition revenues for student financial aid every year. The regent policy calls for a minimum of 15 percent.
Regent Rose Vasquez, who expressed early support for the tuition increase, noted that the universities haven't asked for a higher tuition increase in light of the recent economic downturn.
"I think it's presumptive to assume that not all can afford the increase," she said. "I think it's a conservative increase. I still think education is an investment and you find the resources for it."
The 2009-10 numbers
So the combined tuition and fees for 2009-10 look like this:
The approved tuition and fees packages include supplemental tuition for several groups of ISU students:
Undergraduate junior and senior Engineering college students (residents and non-residents) will be in the fourth and final year of a supplemental tuition plan next year. In the first three years, their tuition went up by an additional $500 per year over what first- and second-year Engineering students pay; in 2009-10, the supplemental tuition will be $250.
For the second straight year, Engineering graduate students also will pay a proposed $500 in supplemental tuition over other graduate students.
The 2009-10 year will be the first of three proposed years of $500 in supplemental tuition for upper division Business college students (resident and non-resident).
Fourth-year Veterinary Medicine students in the DVM program will pay an additional $7,500 in tuition to cover additional clinical fees. The fourth year is a 12-month clinical program, and students were informed of this pending fee when they were admitted, said Vet Med dean John Thomson. The proposed extra funds are needed to meet new accreditation requirements and for clinical training and equipment costs.
The Board of Regents Dec. 10 approved 2009-10 tuition rates that mirror what was proposed at the board's October meeting. Before the final 6-2 vote, the regents discussed other proposals for lower rates.