President Leath's statement on proposed tuition increase

The tuition increase the Board of Regents will consider next week will help Iowa State recruit and retain faculty and improve services that directly support student success. Over the past decade, we have experienced a 41 percent enrollment increase, which is testimony to the value of an Iowa State education. However, with enrollment exceeding 36,000, we have a significant need to add faculty in order to maintain high quality and an appropriate student-to-faculty ratio. Tuition has increased only $100 for resident undergraduate students over the past three years. Even with the proposed $300 increase, Iowa State would continue to be the most affordable university among our group of peer research universities.

Specifically, the additional tuition revenue for undergraduates would be used for:

  • recruitment and retention of faculty to improve our student-to-faculty ratio
  • expansion of support services such as academic advisors and tutors
  • increasing financial literacy and other services to help lower student debt
  • increasing campus safety and accessibility services

The board also will consider small increases to the tuition changes they approved last fall for nonresident undergraduate students and graduate and professional students.

While we are seeking this additional tuition revenue, we will continue to take steps to operate as efficiently as possible to hold down expenses.

And while tuition and state appropriations are major contributors to our budget, it has become increasingly important to increase our private fundraising. I'm proud to say the five-year Moving Students Forward campaign to raise funds for student support has generated more than $180 million toward our $200 million goal.

We understand any cost increase can be a challenge for students and their families. However, the revenue provided through this increase is absolutely necessary in order for us to maintain the academic quality and student experience that our students deserve and expect.

-- Iowa State University President Steven Leath