Tuition Increase Proposal

A Message from the President:

My fellow Cyclones,

This week, Iowa State administrators proposed a tuition increase to the Board of Regents that, if approved, would go into effect this fall. The proposal is for a $300 increase for resident (in-state) students and $100 for non-resident (out-of-state) students. However, the Board has already approved a $594 increase for non-residents and an additional $500 increase for international students. So, all together, after the proposed increases, residents would see a $300 increase, non-residents would be $694 more and international students would be $1,194 more than last year.

This fiscal year the state legislature gave the university $6 million dollars less than was requested. As a result, the administration has been scrambling to accommodate the shortfall in revenue. While no one wants tuition to go up, there are issues within our university that must be addressed.

So how do we benefit from a tuition increase?

Iowa State is one of the most affordable schools to attend when compared to similar schools across the country. We will continue to be more affordable than most universities, but in order for Iowa State to continue providing a world class education, we must increase our revenue.

I will be delivering a statement to the Board of Regents on June 9 and would like your help in drafting it. Please share your comments on the university and tuition at: by June 7. On that site you can learn more about the proposed increases.

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If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me at or call my office at 515-294-9660 and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

All the best,

Cole Staudt

Student Body President

Why am I just finding out about this?

The university relies not just on tuition but on funds from the state of Iowa. Next year, the state will give Iowa State University almost $182 million. Every year, Iowa State puts in a request for funding to the governor and state legislature. This year, we requested $8.2 million more than last year. Through the political process, Iowa State ended up getting only $2.2 million more. That means we need $6 million more from other sources than we planned on in the Fall of 2015 when the initial tuition proposals were approved by the Board of Regents. The only other source of revenue at this stage is tuition.

Why does the university need so much more money?

In the last 10 years, Iowa State's enrollment has increased by an astounding 40%. To handle the increase in students at Iowa State, a large effort was made to hire new staff and professors to teach all of us. Our professors took less money in raises so that new professors could be hired. Now that growth is slowing, it is time to make sure our professors stay here. Additionally, more money is needed to invest in services that have not seen updates in decades, like AccessPlus or newer offices like Student Counseling Services.

Why would faculty leave?

Iowa State is one of 62 universities in the nation that belong to the Association of American Universities (AAU). AAU universities have to meet a long list of requirements in order to belong to this group of prestigious institutions. In addition to rigorous academic standards, AAU schools must have a large research portfolio. That means, professors have to do more than just teach, they have to do research to advance their fields. When professors do research projects, they are often funded by grants from groups or governments outside the university which increases the prestige of the university. Just like most of us want to work at the most prestigious engineering firms or newspapers, professors want to teach and research at the most prestigious universities. Iowa State is the third lowest funded AAU school and in order to prevent universities with more money from poaching our faculty we have to pay them more.

When Iowa State can not be competitive with other universities, professors leave for better paying jobs. When they leave, they take their research projects, and grant dollars, with them. If to many leave, then we can lose our AAU status. If that were to happen, our best professors would leave because they don't want to teach at a university without an AAU accreditation.

Are international student tuition increases going to actually benefit international students?

Yes. Student Body President Cole Staudt has reviewed where the almost $1 million in additional revenue from international students is going. Until this upcoming Fall, international students paid the same amount of tuition as out-of-state domestic students. At the end of the Fall 2015 semester, the Board of Regents approved a $594 increase for out-of-state students and an additional $500 increase for international students for the 2016-2017 academic year. That means for the first time in Iowa State's history, we will have three base classifications for undergraduate tuition: in-state (resident) out-of-state (non-resident domestic) and international.

The intent of creating the new classification was to allocate additional resources to services used by international students. President Staudt has reviewed the administration's proposal for the additional resources for international students to ensure the administration is held accountable for its promise to the students.

If I am on an assistantship will I get affected?

No, if you are on 1/2 time assistantship then your tuition fees will not been affected. For more information, please contact your department secretary.

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