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Vetoes would hurt working Iowans


This news story was published on April 29, 2011.
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Despite the growing need for a highly-skilled workforce to compete for jobs in the 21st Century, the number of families that cannot contribute to their college education has climbed sharply according to a new study out this week.|From Rep. Sharon Steckman

Despite the growing need for a highly-skilled workforce to compete for jobs in the 21st Century, the number of families that cannot contribute to their college education has climbed sharply according to a new study out this week.

According to the Iowa Board of Regents study, 24,000 full-time resident and dependent undergraduates received and accepted financial aid at one of the Regents universities. This is an increase of 600 students or 2.4% from the previous year.

Many legislators have expressed concern that rising tuition costs are putting higher education out of reach for many middle class families. Iowa students already carry one of the highest debt loads in the country after graduation.

The study was conducted in the fall of 2010 by the Iowa Board of Regents and university financial aid representatives. This year’s sharp increase comes on the heels of three straight years of decrease in the number of families receiving financial aid.

In 2009, Iowa had the 7th highest college participation rate for students from low income families, at 37%. Since 1998, Iowa’s participation rate of students from low income families has not fallen below 35%, and has consistently been in the top 10. Iowa has ranked first four times since 2002 in this area.

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