To keep higher education affordable and accessible to all Iowans, we need to freeze tuition at state universities and expand grants, loans, and scholarships to students
Iowa families need access to affordable higher education. Making that affordable is one of the best ways Iowa can build a strong highly skilled workforce for tomorrow.
According to the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, just over six out of every 10 Iowa Regent University graduates left school in debt in 2013. The average debt was $28,293. Iowa is one of the only states in the country without a dedicated financial assistance program for public university students. In 2013, according to CNN Money, Iowa had the third highest percentage of student graduates in debt. For the 2013-14 school year, tuition at Iowa’s community colleges was the third highest among Midwest states. At an average of $4,437 for the 2014-15 school year, community college tuition in
Iowa will once again be higher than the national average.
Iowa faces a skilled worker shortage that threatens future economic growth. The fastest growing occupations require education beyond high school. By 2018, three out of every five jobs will require some training beyond high school. Right now, 56% of Iowa jobs are middle skilled positions. They do not require a four year degree, but an associate degree, training certificate, or apprenticeship which only 33% of the workforce has.
For two years in a row, the Iowa Legislature has frozen tuition at Iowa’s three public universities. The goal is to keep tuition affordable for all families in
In 2014, the Iowa Legislature passed an $8 million increase in general aid to community colleges. In addition, $40.3 million is provided through the Skilled Worker Job Creation fund. The fund, among other items, provides funding for Adult Basic Education, Workforce Training, and tuition GAP assistance to help students obtaining classes to upgrade their skills.
Iowa’s apprenticeship training programs provide on-the-job training in high-tech jobs that utilize up-to-date technologies. Under the jobs retraining program, Iowa businesses partner with their local community colleges to provide job training.
Iowans attending private colleges are also offered support through Iowa Tuition Grants. It provides private college and university student grants based on the greatest financial need with $4,000 per year maximum for up to four-years of full-time undergraduate study. The Legislature has increased aid to this program for three straight years.
Where to go next...
Tuition Freeze, Increased Financial Assistance…
• Freeze tuition at state universities for the third year in a row
• Expand tuition assistance, grants, and scholarships to students, including students at private colleges, to keep higher education affordable and accessible to all Iowans
• Continue to expand funding for apprenticeship programs and job retraining so Iowans can advance their careers
• Increase Vocation Technical Training grants, internships, and summer work programs
How to find out more…
Information on Iowa’s state grants or scholarships or loan repayment programs visit www.iowacollegeaid.gov/content/state-grants-scholarships
To find out more on the state apprenticeship training programs visit
Information on worker retraining programs can be found at