Other People’s Money

Questions of fairness have always permeated discussions about admissions and financial aid.

Is it fair to consider financial status in admissions? Is it fair for colleges to admit students who can’t pay? Is it fair to charge students different rates for the same class?

A new fairness debate has cropped up in several states this year and is beginning to change policy in Iowa.

Last month, the Board of Regents of the State of Iowa, which oversees the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa, eliminated their policy of earmarking 20 percent of in-state tuition revenue for financial aid purposes. In doing so, the board launched a plan to reduce the sticker price of attending the three universities by $1,000 a year. The tuition cut would be contingent on an increase in funding for the universities and for a new state need-based grant program.

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