Excess tuition set aside for financial aid raises questions

Morgan Fleener

Iowa universities are requiring students to pay an average of 22 percent of their tuition to help provide financial aid that the universities can use to help attract prospective students

Under this policy, the universities in Iowa have set aside a portion of students’ tuition for scholarships and financial aid for other students. The set-aside money goes to need-based and non-need-based aid for both in-state and out-of-state students.

“When dealing with the tuition set-aside program, I believe students should be most aware of exactly how much of the tuition increases about which they complain is being used not for their education, but instead to subsidize others,” said Representative Chip Baltimore.

An ISU undergraduate resident is expected to pay a total rounded cost of attendance of $18,520 after spending money on tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and anticipated personal expenses.

Baltimore believes the ability for Iowa State to provide students with financial aid allows a positive outcome when dealing with providing the university with numbers of students and students able to pursue an education.

Looking at an adequate way in using a financial aid program, Baltimore feels Iowa State will continue to strive in developing a program that will not put the full burden of the program on the shoulders of young students.

The rules for classification of a student that will be labeled as a resident or nonresident for tuition and fee purposes include general residency guidelines, with specific discussion of military, American Indians, refugees and immigrants.

Junior Nick Rutherford from Grinnell, Iowa, believes the idea of the tuition set-aside is fair as long as it is being distributed for strictly educational purposes.

“I don’t mind the university doing this as long as the students have the required GPA and ACT scores to get accepted into Iowa State to begin with,” Rutherford said.

When looking at what the future for the tuition set-aside program holds, Baltimore believes that there will be changes in the next years regarding the percentage of tuition that is coming out of each student’s total amount to attend the university.

“I wholeheartedly agree that ISU needs a financial aid program to assist those who deserve but cannot afford to obtain a college education,” Baltimore said. “I believe that if a small percentage of each student’s tuition were used for that purpose, the vast majority of students would not object.”

Students can be classified into six different categories of resident undergraduate students, resident graduate students, nonresident undergraduate students, nonresident graduate students, resident professional students and nonresident professional students when looking at the tuition set aside for each student attending the university.