Gov. Branstad Looks to Freeze and Lower College Tuition Costs

The cost of going to college continues to increase nationwide.

Here in Iowa, Governor Terry Branstad wants to make sure all students can afford a higher education.

At the University of Iowa, Branstad set the stage for another tuition freeze for Iowa's public universities.

Earlier this month in Sioux City, the governor talked about those plans to freeze and lower costs for schools throughout the state.

"I want to see what we can do to help other students, whether it's students going to our private colleges, like Morningside and Briar Cliff with higher tuition grant, more help for the community colleges and also freezing tuition for the state universities. So this was the best year in higher education in decades and hopefully we can do something similar next year as well," said Branstad, former president of Des Moines University.

Even if the governor maintains a steady cost to attend Iowa colleges, there's still significant difference between public and private colleges, including tuition and tuition increases, as Siouxland News found out from the data we collected.

The average cost to attend the local private colleges in Sioux City is between $34,000 to $36,000 dollars, with increases at about 2 to 4 percent in recent years.

Morningside College: $34,000

Briar Cliff University: $35,620

State colleges on the other hand are about half of those costs and even out of state students may pay less than they would for private schools.

University of Northern Iowa:$15,505(Resident) $25,001(Non-Resident)

University of Iowa: $20,721(Resident) $39,591 (Non-Resident)

Iowa State University: $28,600 (Resident) $29,040 (Non-Resident)

And for community colleges like Western Iowa Tech (WIT), the tuition is about $7,000 dollars and increased only by $2 dollars per credit this year, that's one reason some students look to this type of education to save dollars.

WIT: $6,888 (2012-2013)

"Individuals are looking at community colleges now for the value that they provide and the quality that they provide and are giving them more of a serious look," said Troy Jasman, vice president of finances at the WIT.

The tuition freeze of current costs may be a solution for some.

Meanwhile others worry that attending college will still be unaffordable: public or private and that's something Iowa school and state administrators hope to tackle.

The Governor hopes he'll know by the December whether his tuition freeze may be included in the state budget. OR