Several state legislators on Tuesday said they wonder if existing endowments at Iowa’s regent universities could help fund student scholarships in place of tuition set-aside dollars.
One of the lawmakers also suggested the state Board of Regents could return to the practice of using tuition dollars to fund scholarships for students, just at a lower rate than 20 percent of tuition money being redistributed. The regents voted to end that practice, called tuition set-aside, several months ago after criticism of the program last spring from some lawmakers and parents.
The regents have requested $39.5 million in state money to form a new scholarship fund for Iowa’s neediest students that would replace tuition set-aside. Gov. Terry Branstad recommended $5 million in state money for that new fund in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal, well short of the regent request. The regents say they would lower tuition at a rate commensurate with the level of state support for the plan.
What do you think? Should the state provide more scholarship money to Iowa’s public universities, in lieu of the tuition set-aside that was eliminated?