The decision made by the Iowa Legislature to continue the cut of public funding for higher education has limited students' decisions as to where they will be able to further their education.
Personally, I have faced this challenge when making my own decision on which university to attend. Coming to Iowa State has been the best decision I have made even though I continue to struggle to make financial ends meet so that I can continue my education here.
Higher education has always been a costly endeavor, but that does not mean it should be an unobtainable goal for people. I remember a time when people used to think of Iowa, and they thought of the great education system in our state, which was proudly represented with a school house on the back of Iowa's quarter.
Over time, as we have started to move away from that belief in how fundamental education is to our state, education costs have continued to grow. I will find ways to meet this cost, but it is the future generations of students that I worry for.
With my own younger sister beginning her search for the institution that best fits her, it’s hard to ignore the growing struggles that come from trying to obtain a higher education. Even before I had made my decision, four years before her, my younger sister knew she wanted to attend Iowa State.
Like all students who fall in love with our school, she was amazed by the sprawling campus, multiple student organizations, educational courses that will prepare you for your next step in life and the welcoming feeling that is felt throughout the university. Rising costs, additional fees and much more have caused my sister to look at other schools to possibly attend due to the concern of how much the cost of attendance will continue to grow in her four years at Iowa State.
I write this letter in the hopes the state legislature will recognize the lasting impact the rising costs of higher education will have on the state of Iowa. We will lose more and more people who fall in love with the state during their time here, along with the chance to further grow our economy.
I beg them to remember the individual citizens who will no longer be able to achieve their dreams that require a degree from a higher institution of education if funding is not made more of a priority. I beg them to remember what was written on the back of the quarter for Iowa, “foundation in education,” and how that still holds meaning for all current and future students.