DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Board of Regents has proposed raising tuition at the state’s three public universities by an average 3.5 percent, but the plan would give much higher increases to thousands of students.
Iowa State University officials seek to expand the practice of charging different tuition rates for certain majors, such as science, technology, engineering, business and math. The proposal would have some students paying rates up to 33 percent more than standard tuition, the Des Moines Register reported .
University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Iowa have been employing differential tuition rates for more than a decade. Programs that involve laboratory or studio work cost more to provide. Differential tuition also puts costs where they’re incurred instead of spreading it across all programs, officials said.
Majors affected by the new proposal include athletic training, earth science, economics, meteorology and psychology. The rates would be phased in over two to three years, with some only applying to juniors and seniors.
“This is going to be tough for those students because it might deter them from pursuing the majors that they are really interested in,” said Cody Woodruff, an Iowa State sophomore and vice speaker of the student government senate.
The proposed rate increases are expected to generate almost $25 million in additional revenue for the universities.
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill last week authorizing $35.5 million in cuts to balance the state budget. The University of Iowa and Iowa State University’s budgets were cut by $11 million.
The regents are expected to vote on the proposal in June.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com