Increases follow five-year tuition model
Thursday, June 6, 2019

At its June 2019 meeting, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved a 3.9% increase for undergraduate resident tuition and a 1% increase for nonresident undergraduates at the University of Iowa for the 2019–20 academic year. These increases follow the board’s five-year tuition model, which ties undergraduate resident tuition increases of more than 3% to support from the state. Changes will take effect at the beginning of the 2019 fall session.

“We have and will continue to devote resources to student success initiatives,” says UI President Bruce Harreld. “We are committed to increasing our first-year retention rates and improving the four-year graduation rate to minimize student debt. It’s important to remember that a student’s investment in their collegiate education will be the second-largest investment in their life and will produce the greatest return on investment through lifetime earnings.”

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020

Supplemental tuition for undergraduate programs in the Tippie College of Business and the College of Nursing also will increase, as will supplemental tuition for several graduate and professional programs.

Tuition increases were calculated according to a five-year tuition model set by the Regents in fall 2018. The model is based on the findings of the 2017 Tuition Task Force and sets guidelines to make tuition predictable.

“One key theme we heard in our discussions and meetings with students, families, and legislators has been predictability,” says Michael J. Richards, president of the Board of Regents, in a statement announcing the five-year tuition model. “A key aspect of this is being predictable on tuition, so that students and families can plan accordingly. Predictability also includes what we request the taxpayers to support, and the expectation that the universities will strive to reallocate and become more efficient every year.”

According to the model, tuition at the UI and Iowa State University will increase by at least 3% for each of the next five years, and increases of more than 3% will be calculated based on state appropriation levels and inflation.

This spring, the Regents requested an $18 million increase in state funding for the coming fiscal year—with $7 million earmarked for the UI—and announced that the increased funding would go toward financial aid for undergraduate resident students. The Iowa Legislature approved a $12 million increase, $4 million of which the Board of Regents will distribute to the UI.

Undergraduate resident tuition and fees at the UI will remain among the most affordable options for students in the university’s peer group and will be about $3,000 a year less than the average for the group.

compared tuition
The UI’s tuition and fees were the second-lowest in its peer group in 2018–19. Graph courtesy of the Office of Strategic Communication.

In both spring 2017 and spring 2018, the state cut the UI budget mid-year and forced the university to make last-minute budget cuts. When indexed for inflation, the UI spends about the same amount per student as it did 20 years ago; however, overall state support for the university has declined such that tuition dollars now account for two-thirds of the UI’s General Education Fund. In 2001, the reverse was true and state appropriations accounted for two-thirds of the UI’s General Education Fund.