Iowa Senate approves money for tuition freeze

Matthew Rezab

Iowa’s three regent universities may see a tuition freeze for the third consecutive year after the Iowa Senate approved an appropriations package on Wednesday.

Senate file 493’s funding approval is at odds with the proposed House Appropriations Committee bill cutting $8.6 million from higher education and the Department of Education. 

The appropriations package also provides funding for the Board of Regents to adopt a performance-based funding model for the regent universities. The legislation does not provide policy language.

The Senate’s higher education appropriations bill allocates $1 billion for the upcoming state fiscal year for the Board of Regents, Department for the Blind, Department of Education and College Student Aid Commission. The plan represents a $40 million increase over the current fiscal year and is $48 million more than the house proposal.

In a statement released Wednesday, Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter praised the Senate for understanding the unique budget circumstances facing the Northern Iowa and Iowa State.

“The Board appreciates the Senate’s willingness to provide a 1.75% inflationary increase to each university’s operating budget, which guarantees a third consecutive tuition freeze,” Rastetter said.