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By AP  /  
2016 April 26 - 06:25 am

Tuition Likely To Rise at Iowa Colleges

Proposed Spending Hikes Fall Millions Short of Colleges’ Needs

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature’s proposed higher education budget target could hike tuition at the state’s three public universities and 15 community colleges this fall.

Lawmakers have agreed to give a nearly $4.9 million increase for public higher education in the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year budget, the Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icpc.com/1NosnOW ) reports. But the proposed target is more than $3 million less than the minimum that the Iowa Board of Regents says it needs to keep resident undergraduate tuition the same at the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University.

The University of Iowa’s base tuition will already increase by $100 per semester starting in the fall, but the budget target could mean another increase.

“We’re looking at tuition increases all over the place,” said Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, D- Arlington, co-chairman of the Iowa Legislature’s Education Appropriations subcommittee.

Schoenjahn and his co-chairman, Rep. Cecil Dolecheck, R- Mount Ayr, said they agreed on the higher education numbers for the “tight budget” year.

“I think the public out there realizes that you have to balance your checkbook, and you have to live within your means and that is what we are going to have to do, too,” Dolecheck said. “It is going to require some belttightening and not as much as a lot of people would ask for, but oftentimes we don’t get everything that we ask for.”

The regents froze resident undergraduate tuition for nearly three consecutive years because of concerns over student debt levels among the state’s three public universities. The regents originally planned to freeze tuition for all three universities during the 2015 to 2016 academic year, but the Legislature approved a budget last year that included funding increases that were much lower than what the regents requested.

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