Regent says proposed tuition increase is a cut when compared to inflation

Regent David Barker. (photo from Regents video)

The Board of Regents held the first reading of a proposed increase in tuition at the three state universities at its meeting Thursday.

Brad Berg of the Regents’ office explained the increase. “The proposed base undergraduate resident tuition increases include a three and a half percent increase at each of the three universities and that amounts to $305 at the University of Iowa, $304 at Iowa State, and $285 at UNI,” Berg says. The proposal would also increase mandatory fees at the U-I by $306, $60 at ISU, and $32 dollars at UNI.

Regent David Barker pointed out that the proposed tuition increase is well below the recent inflation numbers. “Which are running close to five, below the most recent increase in Iowa personal income per capita, that’s about 7.4%. Below most recent median household income numbers in Iowa which is about 5.2%,” Barker says. “So, I mean, we’re we’re continuing to be affordable for middle class Iowans.”

Barker says students are really getting a tuition cut. “In real terms after inflation we’re cutting tuition because our increase is less than the inflation rate,” Barker says. Barker is an Iowa City native, who is an economist who owns a company that manages and develops apartments and real estate.

The Regent’s staff says the increases are needed after the legislature denied a request for an increase of $32 million in state support for the universities. The second and final reading of the proposed increase will be held at the Board’s June 13th meeting. They will also hear from student leaders on the increase at that time as well.