Over the last few years, the University of Iowa has been gaining more and more students from out-of-state. You can’t just assume anymore that most of the people in your classes are all from a rural town in Iowa. But with out-of-state tuitions running so much higher than in-state, how are these students affording the price?
Sophomore Kenzie Paulson is a student from Minneapolis that has been working on gaining Iowa residency this year to help with the cost.
“The difference in total tuition and fees for a non-resident in comparison to a resident is massive,” Paulson said. “To put it simply, I'm trying to avoid debt as much as possible. Becoming a resident now is going to take a lot of pressure off of my future financial state.”
Paulson, an international studies major, is paying for her college tuition on her own. After paying for a year of out-of-state tuition, she decided it would be best for her to gain residency before continuing her college career.
“To be honest, I wasn't actually aware of how great of a difference there was between tuition for residents and non-residents as a freshman,” Paulson said. “I also didn't care or think about tuition much because I had scholarships to pay for a good amount of my first two semesters.”
Last summer, Paulson began the process of gaining Iowa residency, which mostly involves living in the state for 12 consecutive months as a declared independent from your parents and supporting yourself relying on only resources from Iowa. You may have seen Paulson working either of her jobs as a lifeguard at the new campus recreation center (CRWC) or as the alumni relations assistant at the College of Law.
“It has been slightly stressful as it's a little scary and definitely not easy to completely support yourself on a small hourly wage,” Paulson said.
But even with all that, as well as plans to study abroad next winter, Paulson has still had time to take a few classes and will still graduate within four years from the university. And to Paulson, it’s all been worth it.
“Part of the reason that I love Iowa so much and am set on staying here and becoming a resident is because of the friendships I've made,” Paulson said. “I have wonderful friends here. Gaining residency is worth all of the hoops that you need to jump through. Overall, it has been a learning process that has helped me to gain a lot of independence and responsibility.”