Victory in College of Education!

The $450 additional tuition increase for graduate students in the College of Education has been tabled for at least the next year!

At the Board of Regents meeting this morning, Provost Butler asked the Regents to defer the tuition supplement while they speak with the graduate students about the increase. This move is the direct result of objections raised by graduate students in the College to this tuition increase.

Last week, Margaret Crocco, Dean of the College of Education, emailed the graduate students to inform them about the proposed tuition increase for the 2012-2013 academic year. She cited increases in the cost of education graduate programs around the country as justification for an increase at Iowa. This tuition increase would have further widened the gap between the cost of graduate programs in her College and those in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) to over $1900. Prior to 2010-2011, graduate students in these colleges were charged the same tuition rates.

But graduate student and research assistant Mandy Biggers knew an additional tuition increase was unnecessary. In September 2010, she was part of a group of graduate students called together by the College to discuss how the College should spend $75,000 that had been generated from the initial tuition increase above that of CLAS.

“Frankly, we were appalled that we had been charged money that was not yet appropriated, and what we wanted most was for them to give the money back to us,” Biggers said

When Biggers received the email from the Dean last week, she stepped into action. Together with COGS, she drafted a petition to circulate among her peers. It called for a repeal of the tuition supplements and returning College of Education tuition back to CLAS rates. Over 100 graduate students signed the petition within 48 hours. Meanwhile, COGS promoted a parallel petition for those not in the College of Education who also felt the increase was inappropriate.

These two petitions had a combined total of about 300 signatures on them by the time they were sent to the Regents’ meeting Thursday morning. This action by the graduate students in the College of Education had a direct impact on the tabling of the additional $450 tuition increase.

“This is a huge victory for students in the College of Education,” said Kari Thompson, president of COGS. “Our work is not done here because the College of Ed tuition will still be more than it will be in CLAS, but avoiding the additional $450 charge is a step towards proving that the College of Ed does not need this extra money from its graduate students.”

To that end, College of Ed graduate students will be presenting these petitions to Dean Crocco Friday during a press event in front of the Lindquist Center on Madison St.

“Dean Crocco needs to know that graduate students are vehemently against further tuition increases, now or in the future,” said Biggers.