The Presidents from Iowa’s three state universities presented their budget recommendations to the House Appropriations Committee.
University of Iowa (U of I)
The University of Iowa presented information that showed 45% of their students graduate with $0 debt. They have had a $1,000 reduction in average debt since 2014. President Bruce Harreld presented information on the University’s LEAN efforts. They now run more efficiently than anyone in their peer group of like institutions.
University of Northern Iowa (UNI)
President Mark Nook noted that 90% of University of Northern Iowa students come from Iowa, and has largest percent of students that graduate and stay in Iowa. UNI’s “Live Like a Student” program to reduce student debt, has reduced student debt to just over $22,000 for the average student, while nationally it is over $30,000.
Iowa State University (ISU)
President Wendy Wintersteen noted Iowa State University’s current undergraduate student population has 60% from Iowa. She indicated that ISU’s enrollment is up 35% since 2009, but state appropriations are down 21% during that time period. The average teacher load has increased by 71% over that time period.
The Regents have proposed a need-based financial aid increase of $5 million for the U of I and ISU each and a $2 million increase at UNI, for a total of $12 million increase. However, the majority party have proposed millions in budget cuts to the universities instead.