For many states, public tuition earmarked for financial aid may become a political issue
- The decision by the Board of Regents of the State of Iowa to do away with their policy of earmarking 20% of in-state tuition revenue for financial aid purposes has placed Iowa front and center in the emerging policy debate of whether or not it is fair for public colleges and universities to earmark tuition from high- and middle-income students in order to support low-income students.
- These policies have fallen under scrutiny as they've become viewed as a factor in driving up the cost middle- and upper-class students must pay for education, but eliminating them without disadvantaging any student group would require a now-uncommon broad coordination between institutions, state boards and lawmakers.
- In place of the earmark, Iowa's Board of Regents is launching a plan to reduce the price of attending Iowa State University and the Universities of Iowa and Northern Iowa by $1,000 a year, contingent upon a funding increase for the three schools and the creation of a new need-based grant program by the state.
From the article:
Questions of fairness have always permeated discussions about admissions and financial aid. Is it fair to consider financial status in admissions? Is it fair for colleges to admit students who can't pay? Is it fair to charge students different rates for the same class? A new fairness debate has cropped up in several states this year and is beginning to change policy in Iowa. Last month, the Board of Regents of the State of Iowa, which oversees the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa, eliminated their policy of earmarking 20 percent of in-state tuition revenue for financial aid purposes. In doing so, the board launched a plan to reduce the sticker price of attending the three universities by $1,000 a year. The tuition cut would be contingent on an increase in funding for the universities and for a new state need-based grant program. ...
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