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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

August 12, 2004

Vote on differential tuition option coming in September

by Anne Krapfl

Presidents of Iowa's three regent universities would have the authority to influence final tuition rates, under a proposal being considered by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The proposed policy, involving base tuition and supplemental tuition, was developed at the board's August meeting and will be voted on in September.

The proposal follows several months of inquiry by board members and study at the university level of options for charging differential tuition to students. Among peer schools, the most common variations in how tuition is assessed are lower division vs. upper division students and by academic program or college.

According to the proposal,

  • Base tuition would increase annually by a percentage equal to the midpoint of the projected Higher Education Price Index range, as determined by the Institute for Economic Research, University of Iowa. The base tuition increase would apply to all tuition levels - undergraduate, graduate, resident and non-resident - unless the universities present strong reasons to adjust the base tuition in another way, for example, for non-residents or a specific group of professional students.
  • Supplemental tuition increases could be recommended by the presidents of Iowa's three public universities for board consideration annually. Regent staff members would analyze university requests for supplemental tuition increases on a case-by-case basis.

The process for developing and submitting supplemental tuition requests to the board office calls for a university president to involve faculty and students in campus-wide discussions of any proposal, and keep the other two presidents informed throughout the process.

If the regents approve the proposal when they meet Sept. 14-15 in Iowa City, the policy would be used to set tuitions for fall 2005.

In February, the regents changed the timing of their tuition deliberations from an October-November sequence to a December-February meeting sequence. As proposed, presidents' requests for supplemental tuition increases would be due to the board eight weeks prior to the initial December discussion.


A proposal for assessing different tuition rates, involving base tuition and supplemental tuition, was developed at the Board of Regents' August meeting and will be voted on in September.