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Steckman: Colleges and universities start a new year

From Rep. Sharon Steckman –

State Rep. Sharon Steckman
State Rep. Sharon Steckman
Over 230,000 students are back on campus for the fall semester at Iowa’s 15 community colleges, three state universities, and 27 private colleges.

With Iowa facing a skilled worker shortage and most jobs now requiring some training beyond high school, the Iowa Legislature took action this year to help the 100,000 students at community colleges get the skills they need to land a good job and help employers find workers.  Available at each of Iowa’s 15 community colleges, the new Skilled Worker Job Creation Fund will develop training and education programs that focus on the workforce skills, from entry level to advanced, required by local employers in each region.

Iowa families with students at state universities will find their tuition was frozen this school year after the Legislature approved a 2.6% increase in funding to state universities.  The University of Northern Iowa also received an additional $10 million.

Using a special fund of gaming revenues only dedicated for infrastructure, the Legislature also approved construction projects at the University of Iowa’s Hygienic Lab, a veterinary surgery facility for Iowa State students, and the advanced manufacturing center at UNI.

Private college students will benefit from an increase in Iowa’s Tuition Grant from $4,000 to $5,000.  Administered by the College Aid Commission, the program provides grants to students with the greatest financial need.  Full-time students can receive grants for up to four years of full-time, undergraduate study and part-time students are eligible for adjusted amounts.

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