Friday, March 23, 2018

A Statement from the University of Iowa Student Government:

The Iowa Legislature has approved a $10.9 million budget cut to be split between the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. Cutting the UI mid-year continues a disappointing trend in funding for public higher education in Iowa. We understand that the UI and Board of Regents will raise tuition to respond to the cuts and maintain the quality of education. However, we expect the UI to demonstrate resolute leadership in the face of adversity, and as students, we deserve action from the UI that will ensure holistic student success. To that end, financial aid policies and practices must be reviewed and reformed to increase retention and graduation rates and decrease student debt.

From Fall 2016 to Fall 2017, nearly fourteen percent (over 900 students) of the first-year class did not continue to their next year of study at the UI., Financial hardship—affording tuition, fees, housing, food, and books—is one of the primary reasons students do not graduate. In a UI survey in 2016, fifty-two percent of students reported worrying about their financial situations “often,” and twenty-four percent of students indicated that they were “very concerned” about financing their education for the next year. All of these responses reflect students’ situations before the multi-year string of tuition increases we now anticipate. Though UI tuition is low compared to its peers, sixty-five percent of resident students graduated with debt in 2016, their average debt load being $25,451. The data are clear: there are a significant number of students who struggle to afford their education at the UI, and students do not graduate at an acceptable rate.

The UI community should continue to encourage the Iowa Legislature to fund the UI at an appropriate level because of our invaluable service and impact in the state. But the UI must define its own future for the well-being of its students. Financial aid policies and practices must be reformed to increase accessibility, retention, and graduation. We are optimistic that holistic student success can be prioritized and advanced with innovative and committed leadership at the UI.

In addition, UISG remains committed to advocating at all levels of government for resources that will allow the UI community to achieve its aspirations. Students must engage in advocacy and share how these cuts impact their success.


Jacob Simpson, President

University of Iowa Student Government


Lilián Sánchez, Vice President

University of Iowa Student Government