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Iowa Board of Regents talk about future of tuition

COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Iowa Board of Regents is seeking $18 million more from the state for next year and the amount of tuition students pay at the three state universities will be tied to what they receive.

Board president Mike Richards says they plan to stick with the tuition model the used last year. “If the state fully funds our appropriations request, the base undergraduate rate increase will be three percent. If the state provides no additional funding — the base rate increase will be three percent plus the projected Higher Education Price Index or HEPPI,” Richards says.

Total state funding would be a little more than 642 million if they get the additional dollars. The Regents asked for the same 18 million dollar increase last year and got only 12 million dollars more.  “If the state partially funds our appropriations request — the base will be somewhere within the defined range,” Richards says. “For U-N-I, if the state fully funds their request, we will continue to take steps to make them more competitively priced with our other midwest comprehensive universities.”

If the 18 million dollars is approved this year — the University of Iowa and Iowa State University would each receive an additional seven million dollars and U-N-I four million. Richard says they hope to also find other money. “As the governor asked us to do, we have been exploring and researching possible additional funding methods,” Richards says.

The same tuition formula was used last year and tuition rates were frozen at U-N-I last year after the school received the full four million more dollars it requested. The rates at I-S-U and Iowa went up three-point-nine percent.

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld  told the Regents one of the things the school is looking at to raise more money is a public-private partnership for its utility system. He says if the school completes a deal, the school would still own its utility system.

Harreld says there are benefits for a partner — such as tax breaks that the school cannot take as a non-profit entity. Harreld says the partner would pay the school. “The U-I will receive a significant up front payment that he university would place in an endowment. The univeristy on funding its strategic plan,” Harreld explains.

The Regents met Thursday in Council Bluffs.



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