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CEDAR FALLS --- Student leaders at the University of Northern Iowa said today they do not support the proposed tuition freeze being considered by the Iowa Board of Regents.

Jordan Bancroft-Smithe, the Northern Iowa Student Government president, said NISG senators voted Wednesday night against supporting the freeze without knowing if the state will once again support UNI with a special $4 million appropriation or a new $39.5 million program that would support a student financial aid program.

“Supporting such uncertainty would be nothing short of a gamble,” Bancroft-Smithe said.

He added that many students also worried that the freeze would undo the budget cuts made last year on campus.

“Last night Northern Iowa Student Government brought State Auditor (David) Vaudt to campus to discuss the financial status of the University of Northern Iowa and one of the things he repeatedly said was to always partake in long-term planning for future success,” Bancroft-Smithe said. “… We feel that UNI painfully did that last semester and we would hate to see the agony caused by those cuts be for nothing.”

Regent President Craig Lang said it was “imperative” for the state to fund the Regent system, including the special UNI appropriation, for the tuition freeze to work.

“We also have sent a message from the Regents that if this money is not appropriated … then we have to reconsider what we are talking about today,” Lang said.

The board will not vote on the proposed tuition freeze and mandatory fees until December.

EARLIER STORY

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) --- Members of the board that governs Iowa's three public universities are supporting a proposal to freeze tuition for in-state undergraduate students next year.

The Iowa Board of Regents discussed plans Thursday in Iowa City to keep tuition at $6,678 at the University of Iowa and $6,648 at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

Final approval is expected in Decfember, and regents said they could later impose a tuition hike if lawmakers do not approve their request for a 2.6 percent increase in funding.

The board also approved a plan that would allow universities to phase out the controversial practice of using tuition revenue to provide grants and scholarships to students.

The plan requires universities to raise more private money and lawmakers to create a new financial aid program

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