DES MOINES — The Iowa Legislature could wrap its business for the session this week, and their final budget will impact how much the students at the three state-supported universities pay in tuition.

The Board of Regents held off on setting tuition at their meeting last week as president Mike Richards reiterated the process set in the board’s new five-year- tuition model. “We are not interested in setting tuition rates and then having to adjust them later,” Richards said, “we set tuition rates only one time per year.”

Richards says they want to know how much of the money they requested will be approved by state leaders. “In September, we made a state appropriation request of 18 million dollars increase over our current general appropriation budget for next year for our public universities. The tuition rates that we will set are based on cooperation with the state,” Richards said.

Under the model designed to give students and parents predictability, the Regents will use a formula to set the tuition at the University of Iowa and  Iowa State University.   If the state provides the full 18 million dollars, the 2019-2020 base tuition rate will increase by three percent.  If the state provides no additional money, the increase will be three percent plus the projected Higher Education Price Index (HEPI). The index is estimated at two percent.

The formula for tuition at the University of Northern Iowa is different. “If the state fully funds the appropriations request —  resident undergrad tuition would not increase for 2019-2020,”Richards said.  It is not clear how the tuition rate would be impacted at the University of Northern Iowa if the Board of Regents does not receive the amount of state money they requested.

The board is expected hold the first reading on the tuition rates at its June meeting.

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