CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The governing board for Iowa's three public universities on Wednesday approved a roughly $100 tuition increase for students at the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University, but decided to exempt the University of Iowa.
The Iowa Board of Regents voted 7-2 for the spring semester increase during a meeting at UNI in Cedar Falls. The midyear increase at UNI and Iowa State ends a tuition freeze for in-state undergraduate students that went into effect several years ago.
The original proposal aimed to raise tuition at all three schools, but it was amended to exclude the University of Iowa after student leaders for the schools presented their viewpoints. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported that Elizabeth Mills, president of UI's student government, asked board members to consider the extra tuition's financial impact on some students.
"That $100 can be a month's groceries. Or a fourth of a month's rent," she said.
Student leaders for UNI and Iowa State said the additional money would help offset rapid student population growth and inadequate state funding.
Regents Katie Mulholland and Larry McKibben did not support the amended proposal that removed the University of Iowa from the tuition increase, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. McKibben said he believed all three universities should be treated equally. The two later voted against the tuition increase altogether.
"I think if we put this to a vote on all three campuses . I know what the outcome would be, and it would be to not increase the midterm tuition at our universities," he said.
Board President Bruce Rastetter said he believed the board had tried to offset tuition increases by seeking more financial support from the state. He said those efforts were not successful last year.