Wintersteen predicts smaller tuition increase than original proposal


Hannah Olson/Iowa State Daily

President-select Wendy Wintersteen speaks during an interview with the Iowa State Daily on Nov. 3.

Danielle Gehr

Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen said a 3.5 percent increase is more likely than the original 7 percent increase which was proposed, according to the Des Moines Register.

Early in the fall 2017 semester, former interim-President Ben Allen proposed yearly tuition increases to the Board of Regents amounting to 7 percent per year for in-state students and 4 percent for out-of-state students over a five-year period. 

Kristin Failor, the university’s state relations officer, said this increase was not feasible at a fall Student Government meeting and now Wintersteen predicts the increase will be lower. 

The Board of Regents delayed their tuition decision which typically takes place in October. The Regents will discuss tuition at their February meeting. 

Proposed tuition increases come after the 2017 Iowa Legislature cut $9 million from Iowa State’s budget in state appropriations. The total budget cuts toward higher education in the state amounted to $25.5 million. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds said there is no way Iowa families can afford the tuition increases at Iowa State and the University of Iowa—who proposed the same increases.

Reynolds’ proposed budget includes a potential midyear cut of $5.1 million to the Board of Regents. Reynolds did not directly address funding for higher education during her Condition of the State Address. 

For fiscal year 2019, Reynolds’ recommended $7.25 million go toward the regents which, when factoring in the midyear cuts, gives them a $2.3 million net increase. 

Executive Director of the Board of Regents Mark Braun responded with an emailed statement. 

“Any reduction is challenging, but the board recognizes the current fiscal situation the state is facing,” Braun wrote. “We will work with our institutions to make any required FY18 reductions in ways that have as little impact on students as possible.”

The February regents meeting will take place on Feb. 21 and 22 at Iowa State. The meeting’s agenda has not been posted yet, but can be found here when posted.