UNI is proud to educate Iowans for Iowa and works hard to ensure that UNI's high quality education is within reach for all students. A key component of keeping a UNI education within reach is limiting and driving down student debt. Over the last eight years UNI has seen a decline in student debt due to it's highly effective Live Like a Student financial literacy program. The program educates students on the importance of living within their means while they are in school, ultimately reducing student loan indebtedness.
UNI is also working hard to drive down other costs of education, like textbooks. According to College Board, undergraduates spend an average of $1,200 on textbooks annually. A year ago UNI joined the Open Textbook Network and has since begun adopting the concept across campus.
In the first year of adopting Open Textbooks, UNI students saved almost $130,000. Over 1,100 students in 13 classes from across campus, including biology, chemistry, mathematics, technology, and languages & literatures participated in the initial launch. Not only do open textbooks allow students to download at no cost or inexpensively print needed materials, but it also allows faculty members to custom edit and individualize the textbooks for their students.
UNI is not the only Regent institution to use Open Textbooks. In fact, UNI, Iowa State and the University of Iowa have partnered together and submitted a federal Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to fund an Iowa Open Textbook Initiative. This initiative will assist in the development of more open textbooks and other open educational resources.
UNI is committed to student success and upholding our public charge to be open and accessible. UNI created a conservative budget as part of this summer's Regents Tuition Task Force to ensure that any tuition increases would be reasonable and predictable for Iowa families. Keeping increases to the Consumer Price Index, working hard to find new cost saving and efficiencies, and requesting a small appropriation increase from the governor and Iowa Legislature will provide UNI the funding needed to provide a high quality education but not out of reach for Iowa families.