Iowa Board of Regents

1.6 Fees and Charges

  1. The Board of Regents is responsible for establishing fees and charges at the Regent institutions, such as tuition, mandatory fees, miscellaneous charges, room and board rates for university residence systems, application fees, and parking rates. Certain exceptions do apply.
  2. Each proposed increase in student charges is generally presented to the Board twice — first for preliminary consideration and public notice requirements and second for final approval.
  3. State law (Iowa Code § 262.9.19 (PDF) requires the Board to:
    1. Notify the presiding officers of the student government organizations not less than thirty days prior to action to increase charges, including a copy of the related docket memorandum; and
    2. Make the final decision on tuition and mandatory fees for the next academic year at a regular meeting, which is to be held in one of the three university cities but not held during a university holiday or break.
  4. Board policy requires, that if an increase is proposed from the initial amount to increase a tuition, fee, or charge is increased, the docket is to be resent to student leaders and an additional 30-day notice period is to be given prior to Board approval.
  5. The distribution of Board docket materials relating to the proposed increases shall be sent to the person identified by each institution as the student government president and mailed or emailed to the student government office listed in each university directory.

  6. Tuition
    1. Tuition Policy

      Iowa law (Iowa Code §262.9.24 PDF) requires the Board to adopt a policy for establishment of tuition rates that provide some predictability for assessing and anticipating changes.

    2. Classifications of Residents and Nonresidents for Tuition


      The rules for classification of a student as a resident or nonresident for tuition and fee purposes are found in The Administrative Code (681 IAC 1.4 PDF). Those rules include general residency guidelines, with specific discussion of military personnel, American Indians, refugees, and immigrants. The rules for classification are extended to be in full compliance with Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act).

    3. Graduate Assistants and Spouses
      1. Nonresident students with graduate assistantships of 1/4-time or more retain their nonresidency classification, but are assessed Iowa resident tuition and fees as long as the graduate assistantship is continued.
      2. The spouse of a nonresident 1/4-time or more graduate assistant is eligible for Iowa resident tuition during the period of the assistantship appointment. Iowa residency is not granted. When the graduate assistantship ends, the resident tuition assessment for the spouse is terminated.
    4. Principles for Setting Tuition and Related Fees

      The following principles will be used to set tuition and related fees at the three public universities governed by the Board:

      Tuition Categories:

      1. Resident Undergraduate Students
      2. Resident Graduate Students
      3. Nonresident Undergraduate Students
      4. Nonresident Graduate Students
      5. Resident Professional Students
      6. Nonresident Professional Students
    5. On an annual basis, the Board of Regents will consider tuition and fee proposals suggested by each university president for the following academic year at their university.
    6. Within each tuition category, each university president will have sufficient flexibility, with appropriate justification, to recommend differential levels of tuition and fees for all students at their university or for subcategories of students, consistent with Regent and institutional strategic goals, based on student classification level, program of study, or other relevant criteria.
    7. The Board will use, as a benchmark in evaluating university-proposed tuition and fee increases, an inflationary percentage range of the projected HEPI (Higher Education Price Index) as determined by the University of Iowa’s Institute for Economic Research, in consultation with economists at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.
    8. University Tuition and Fee Proposals

      Prior to submitting tuition and fee proposals to the Board Office for review and analysis, each university president must:

      1. Ensure that tuition and fee proposals are discussed on campus with the elected leadership of faculty, staff, and student organizations.
      2. Keep the other two university presidents fully informed throughout the development process of tuition and fee requests. Use the HEPI benchmark as a guide to Board expectations for rates increases, absent adverse changes in the overall fiscal environment for the university.
      3. Provide clear explanation and justification for all tuition and fee requests.
      4. Any mandatory fee proposal higher than the median of the HEPI range and earmarked for specific non-academic student benefits should also include the endorsement of students and identification of the specific uses and duration of that fee.
      5. Provide specific documentation of the university strategic goals and objectives related to the tuition and fee proposals.
      6. Tuition for nonresident undergraduate students should, at a minimum, cover the full cost of their education at each Regent university.
      7. Provide student financial aid to meet enrollment and tuition cost calculated as a minimum of 15% of tuition revenues.
      8. Prohibit the designation of a portion of the tuition moneys collected from resident undergraduate students by institutions of higher education governed by the board for use for student aid purposes. However, such institutions may designate that a portion of the tuition moneys collected from nonresident students be used for such purposes. Iowa Code § 262.9(19) (2013).
      9. All initial proposed tuition increases, changes in mandatory student fees, and tuition-related miscellaneous charges must be submitted and presented for the Board’s consideration at the same Board meeting.
    9. Tuition for Students
      1. Undergraduate Part-Time Tuition -- Resident Rates
        1. A per credit charge for credits 1 through 11.
        2. A fixed amount for 12 credits per term and over as established by the Board of Regents. An additional tuition fee will not be charged for any overload credits taken by a full- time student at a Regent university.
      2. Undergraduate Part-Time Tuition -- Nonresident Rates
        1. Rates may range from the resident rates for 0 through 4 credits per term of each program up to the corresponding nonresident/international rates. 
        2. Follow the above pattern for undergraduate resident rates for 5 credits per term and over as established by the Board of Regents.
    10. Graduate Part-Time Tuition
      1. A per credit charge for credits 1 through 8.
      2. A fixed amount for 9 credits per term and over as established by the Board of Regents.
      3. Rates for nonresident students may range from the resident rates for 0 through 4 credits of each program up to the corresponding nonresident/international rates.
    11. Guidelines for counting post-baccalaureate students as graduate students or special students
      1. Count as graduate students only those students who meet the academic requirements (e.g., rank in class, grade point average, subject matter background, standardized test scores, etc.) and are admitted to the Graduate College (ISU, SUI). (See [c] for special conditions relative to UNI.)
      2. Do not permit students to register for more than 15 credits per term for graduate degrees.
      3. Establish a category of students called special student (or some appropriate equivalent) that includes students with a baccalaureate degree not admitted to the graduate college. This category does not include professional students (medicine, dentistry, law, nursing, pharmacy, veterinary medicine). At the University of Northern Iowa, all students with baccalaureate degrees are classified as graduate students upon admission and may be classified subsequently as degree candidates with departmental and graduate college approval.
      4. Charge special students the same tuition as is charged undergraduate students.
      5. Recognize that unusual situations may occur and allow deviations from the guidelines set forth above only under conditions as established by the academic vice presidents so that a level of excellence in all programs will be maintained.
    12. Reciprocal Tuition Agreements

      Institutions under the control of the Board of Regents may enter into reciprocal tuition agreements. Agreements require the approval of the Executive Director, who shall consult with Board Leadership prior to approval.

  7. Mandatory Fees
    1. General Policy
      1. Mandatory fees, charged to each student, provide a distinct resource to respond to specific needs of students. Each institution must seek Board approval for any new mandatory fees or changes in mandatory fees.
      2. For a new mandatory fee to be established, a university must:
        1. Disclose origination of proposed fee (i.e. by student request or a need identified by the university).
        2. Identify the basis for the fee (i.e. services to be provided by fee and related costs of those services).
        3. Consult with students regarding the proposed expenditures of the newly available revenues.
        4. Obtain documentation from the recognized student body governments indicating the extent of student support for new fee.
      3. For proposed increases in mandatory fees above inflation, a university must follow the steps outlined for a proposed new fee.
      4. Annually, during the discussion of tuition and mandatory fees, the universities must:
        1. Report to the Board on revenues and expenditures for all fees generated by the mandatory fees (including the disposition of unallocated funds);
        2. Unexpended funds from mandatory fees must be spent for the purposes for which the fee was originally implemented.
        3. Address the applicability of mandatory fees for part-time students, off-campus students, and summer session students.
      5. Each university must establish formal policies and procedures for assessing each mandatory fee and for granting exemptions.
    2. Mandatory Fees for Part-Time Students

      The institutions must submit any changes regarding assessment of mandatory fees to part-time students to the Board for approval during the annual discussion of tuition and mandatory fees.

    3. Exemptions

      The universities may grant exemptions from mandatory fees to extension and study abroad students and other off-campus groups, such as student teachers, co-op students, internship students, and practicum students. University exemption policies should consider the student’s access to campus services and physical proximity to campus. University policies should include definitions and criteria for judging access to institutional facilities and should be consistent with related bond covenants.   

  8. Common and University/Program Specific
    1. Consistency Among Universities
      1. The three universities are to continue to work together to establish common titles and charges for common and university/program specific fees.
      2. Some differences in fee titles and charges may remain because of the unique nature of some programs and services at each institution.
    2. Institutional or College-Wide Fees Board approval is required for:
      1. All new institutional or college-wide fees.
      2. All institutional or college-wide fees of over $1 per semester and all departmental fees over $10 per semester.

        These fees do not include course fees for payment for materials used, fees that represent returnable deposits, fees assessed for damage or breakage by individual students, and fees assessed to pay for services external to the university.

    3. Types of Fees
      1. Fees are categorized as either common or university/program specific. Students pay only the fees that apply to their programs, interests, or needs.
      2. Common and university/program specific fees are presented with the Board’s annual discussion of tuition and mandatory fees. These fees may be brought to the Board for revision following initial adoption should the actual costs differ from the original estimates.
  9. Allocation of Mandatory Student Fees
    1. State law (Iowa Code 262.34B) provides procedures for changing allocations of student fees.
      1. A student fee committee at each university, composed of five students and five university employees, makes recommendations for the student fee allocations to the university president by April 15 for the subsequent academic year.  
      2. The university president forwards the student fee committee recommendations and provides a recommendation to the Board for consideration.  
      3. The Board makes the final decision on changes to student fees.  
    2. Prior to the approval of changes in room and board rates, the universities are to provide the following to the Board:
      1. Annual reports that provide detailed information on various aspects of the residence systems for the previous fiscal year and include the most current residence system information such as enrollments, occupancy, and financial and bonding data.  
      2. Five year plans that provide projected trends in total enrollment, housing design capacity, housing occupancy, and occupancy ratios, capital renewal plans, and financial forecasts for the next decade.  
    3. State law (Iowa Code §§262.68 PDFIowa Code §§262.69 (PDF)) allows the Board to make such rules as necessary to provide for traffic control and parking. Those rules are detailed in 681 IAC 4 (PDF) and provide definitions, general traffic directives, vehicle registration information, parking facilities guidelines, parking privileges, and consequences for violations of parking rules.
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