Flat tuition proposed next year for ISU, UNI resident undergraduates

Iowa State and University of Northern Iowa resident undergraduates would get a reprieve while their counterparts at the University of Iowa play catch-up, under a 2016-17 tuition proposal going to the state Board of Regents next week. The board will meet Oct. 21-22 in Iowa City; a meeting schedule and agenda items are online. Audio of public portions of the meeting will be streamed live on the board's website.

In September, the board approved a 3 percent tuition increase for 2016 spring semester for resident undergraduates – at UNI and Iowa State only. Their tuition would remain unchanged ($6,848 at both universities) for the 2016-17 academic year as proposed, while Iowa resident undergraduate tuition would be raised 3 percent, to $6,878.

Proposed ISU tuition increases are:

  • 4 percent, for resident veterinary medicine students
  • 3 percent, for nonresident undergraduates, nonresident veterinary medicine students and all graduate students

Supplemental tuition

Iowa State will request its first supplemental tuition since 2011-12, $500 per year for three years, for all nonimmigrant, non-citizen international students. The revenue would help cover costs of additional services needed for international students, currently funded by all students. These services include: additional time with academic advisers, English language training and reporting requirements for international students, as well as higher costs in admissions work and financial transactions.

Since 2006-07, the board has approved multiple-year supplemental tuition at Iowa State for upper division undergraduates in engineering, business and ag systems technology/industrial technology; resident architecture students (all levels); and fourth-year students in the doctor of veterinary medicine program.

Mandatory student fees

Iowa State also will request a $33.50 increase to the mandatory fee for all ISU students. One piece, $20, would be used to implement Keeling and Associates' recommendations to improve the student health center. The other, a $13.50 increase to the student services fee, would support additional CyRide service and projected fuel cost increases for the bus service. As proposed, mandatory student fees would range from $1,075 to $1,337 at Iowa State next year.

A vote on the tuition and mandatory fee proposal is scheduled for the board's Dec. 2 meeting.

Income tax breaks

Graduate and professional student governments at the three regent universities will present a proposal aimed at keeping their constituents in the state following graduation. They propose a 50 percent income tax break, for five years, for regent school-educated graduate and professional students who take jobs in Iowa. The income tax break would jump to 75 percent for those who live and work in rural Iowa. The group has sent its proposal to Gov. Terry Branstad.

The group believes the tax break would:

  • Help young alumni pay for their graduate or professional degree
  • Dissuade graduates from moving out of state for higher salaries
  • Combat the state's "Brain Drain" issue
  • Help maintain the state's population, particularly in the 20- to 30-year-old age group

The board is being asked only to receive the presentation; no other action is requested.

Other business

In other Iowa State-related business, the board will:

  • Receive oral updates on TIER (Transparent, Inclusive Efficiency Review) business cases by the Ad Astra (space use, course scheduling) and Pappas Consulting (e-learning, enrollment management) groups
  • Receive reports on student enrollment (annual) and faculty activity (biennial)
  • Consider approving the Center for Statistics and Application in Forensic Evidence in the office of the vice president for research. It is proposed as a National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)-sponsored center for research, education and outreach in statistical and probabilistic methods for the forensic sciences. NIST funding totals $20 million over five years, with a 5-year renewal possible.
  • Approve a bond issuance schedule for calendar year 2016 that includes a sale of ISU utility system revenue bonds (approximately $13 million) in October