New financial aid program is asking for opinions

Thaddeus Mast

The Board of Regents is currently looking into an alternative to the tuition set-aside program that could lower tuition by up to $1,000 and is asking students for their opinions.

In the current system, tuition set-asides take a certain amount of each student’s tuition money (22.5 percent last year), and puts it towards financial aid. 

Iowa is currently the only state that does not have a dedicated need-based program for public universities; only private institutions have such a program.

What is being proposed is a state-funded student financial aid program that would replace the tuition set-aside program. Instead of taking money off student tuition, the money would come directly from the state. The current proposal is calling for $39.5 million to split between Iowa’s three public universities.

With the current program, any student who shows need or merit can receive financial aid. With the newly proposed state-funded program, however, only resident, in-state students will have access need-based financial aid. 

Merit-based aid, as well as non-resident and graduate aid, has not yet been looked into.

The universities would be asked to start fundraising campaigns to help supplement the program.

If you have any input or recommendations on this subject, send an email to [email protected] before Oct. 17. All emails will be considered by the Regent’s Student Financial Aid Committee before a decision is reached.

The committee will submit its follow-up report to the Board of Regents at the meeting from Oct. 24 to 25 at the University of Iowa.