UNI is proud to educate Iowans for Iowa and works to ensure that UNI's high quality education is within reach for students. To help achieve this goal, UNI created a conservative budget model based on the principles of maintaining our commitment to Iowa, focusing on quality, and setting reasonable, predictable costs for Iowa students and their families. This budget keeps increases to the Consumer Price Index and commits UNI to working hard to find new cost savings and operate as efficiently as possible.
On Wednesday, February 21, President Mark Nook shared the principles that built UNI's budget and FY19 legislative funding requests with the House Appropriations Committee. UNI is requesting that the legislature invest an additional $2 million in financial aid for Iowa students attending UNI.
We are also asking that our state appropriations for economic development programs and UNI's base budget be funded at the same level as this year. Additionally, we are requesting that the legislature invest in the modernization of UNI's Industrial Technology Center.
In addition to an investment from the state, a key component of keeping a UNI education within reach is limiting and driving down student debt. Student debt at UNI is now down to $22,372, which is $10,000 below the national average. Much of this is due to UNI's signature financial literacy and student loan counseling program—Live Like a Student. In addition to the amount of debt, there has been a 10 percentage point decline in the number of students who graduate without any debt, from 80% in 2009-10 to 70% today.
UNI is committed to working with the governor and the Iowa legislature to provide an affordable and high quality education for Iowa students.