The Board of Regents (BOR) last week approved the
supplemental tuition plan
, which will raise tuition rates by $216 per student. This is in addition to the tuition increases approved in December for the 2017-2018 academic year (FY2018). FY2018 tuition rates for all student classifications can be found in the link above.
These increases are a direct result of cuts in state funding to the university. The Iowa Legislature reduced our base appropriation by a total of 6.25% or $11.5 million, and the supplemental tuition increase is expected to generate approximately $7 million based on enrollment projections. However, the increase in tuition will cover only about two-thirds of the state cuts.
As recently as FY2009, funding from the state accounted for 50% of Iowa State's general operating budget or the equivalent of $12,705 per resident student. But as enrollment has spiked over the past eight years, state funding levels have not kept pace. Iowa State's FY2017 state appropriation accounts for less than 30% of our general operating budget or less than $9,000 per resident student.
Insufficient funding from the state puts the quality of the student experience at risk and jeopardizes affordability. Iowa State has worked to manage this by keeping operational and administrative costs down. Administrative spending at Iowa State has consistently been nearly half that of our peer 10 land-grant institutions. However, our ability to attract and retain top faculty and staff and reduce class sizes has become increasingly difficult. Our student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1 is the highest of the Regents institutionsand our faculty salaries are among the lowest of our peer group.
These concerns have led the BOR to form a task force to explore a different approach to tuition. Specifically, one that is reasonable, transparent, and predictable. The task force - comprised of four board members - is expected to present its findings during the September BOR meeting. Looking ahead to fall 2018, the university anticipates the BOR will consider a larger tuition increase.
The past legislative session was one of the most challenging and disappointing sessions for Iowa State in recent history. We will continue to call on the Governor and the Iowa Legislature to make higher education a priority so that students do not bear the brunt of inadequate state support.