CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 19, 1999
UISG announces results of online tuition referendum
IOWA CITY Some 96 percent of the 1,374 students
who took part in a University of Iowa Student Government (UISG) tuition referendum
voted against a proposed 6.9 percent tuition increase. UISG leaders say student
participation in last weeks tuition referendum is a "staggering
response" to their efforts to gather student input.
The UISG took the tuition referendum online Oct. 11-13.
Some 1,374 students cast their vote using the UIs "ISIS on the
web" website to vote in opposition to or in favor of the proposed increase.
The regents will meet at the UI Thursday and Friday,
Oct. 21-22 to discuss the increase, and at a scheduled presentation, UISG
members will present to the regents the referendum results. UISG members also
plan to present 35 pages of additional comments submitted online by students,
and a videotape of students commenting on camera about the tuition proposal.
The results of the proposal show 96 percent of UI
students voted against the 6.9 percent increase. And the majority of students
(50 percent) favor a separation of tuition from fees. In ranking their preferences
of how an increase should be used, 50 percent of students say additional revenue
from an increase should be earmarked for student financial aid. Among the
other 14 categories receiving significant votes: curriculum improvement (40
percent); Libraries (38 percent); building improvements (35 percent); and
Instructional Technology (computing centers, 30 percent).
In a prepared statement, UISG members say the survey
results "confirm that students care about improvements to the library
and financial aid and are willing to support those projects with a separation
of tuition and fees, but at the same time, are opposed to the two percent
increase for quality."
Lana Zak, senior and UISG president, says she is hopeful
the referendum signals to the regents that the students are concerned about
the increase, and that additional funding for the UI should come from additional
financial support from the state legislature, not an increase in student fees.
The regents are considering a 4.3 percent tuition
increase proposal for the UI, Iowa State University, and the University of
Northern Iowa. The UI is proposing an additional 2.6 percent increase to help
improve various programs and instructional equipment. Currently, the yearly
in-state tuition rate for full-time students is $2,998, which would increase
tuition by $206 per year; the out-of-state rate is $10,440, leading to a $720
Below is a further breakdown of how students voted:
73 percent of respondents are residents;
-- 27 percent non-residents;
-- 25 percent of respondents made additional comments;
-- 35 percent of UI students say they rely on their parents
for tuition assistance;
-- 57 percent say they are self-supporting;
-- 51 percent believe it is acceptable for the three regent
universities to differ in tuition costs;
-- 17 percent say the UI should be more expensive;
-- 43 percent say costs should be equal.