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Regents' vote to freeze tuition, business might be impacted

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Imagine getting your college education at the same base tuition all four years.

That could be a reality for thousands of in-state college students after the Iowa Board of Regents voted to freeze tuition.

It's obvious college tuition places a heavy burden on students and their families.

"College is very expensive," said Bailey Koebrick, a University of Iowa junior. "How expensive it is, is pretty bad."

The Regents made history by voting unanimously to freeze tuition for in-state undergraduate students for the third year in a row.

"I think it's awesome because already it's way too expensive so I think it's great that they're not going to raise the prices," said UI junior Bailey Koebrick.

If the freeze sticks, in-state students who graduate in May 2016 will have paid the same base tuition all four years of their college education: $6,678 at University of Iowa and $6,648 at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

"Cost of college was a big factor in me going to an in-state university," said Iowa senior Lucille Howard.

Board members say this freeze will help families living in Iowa who are struggling to pay for college, like first-year student Calvin Windschitl.

"I'm trying to work as much during school as I can to get as much as I can paid for. said Windschitl. "I'm just now starting to think about paying for all this college and it's pretty intimidating at this point."

Students and their families might not be the only ones benefiting from the tuition freeze.

Connie Champion co-owns Catherine's in Downtown Iowa City and says this tuition freeze could pull in more in-state students to enroll at Iowa and bring them right to her retail store..

"If that happens that will be an immediate impact," said Champion. "I think it might eventually, as people get more money. I don't think it's going to have an initial impact.

This tuition freeze is only for residential undergraduate students, provided that lawmakers approve a funding increase for the three universities next spring.

Wednesday, the Board raised tuition by nearly 1.75 percent for out-of-state students and students in graduate and professional programs.

"And hopefully everyone will have a little bit more spending money and boost local economy," said Windschitl.

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