University of Northern Iowa professor Anelia Dimitrova expected the coronavirus would cause a two-week spring break extension – not a swift end to campus life and the beginning of teaching online. She thought it was odd, she said, when one of her students noted in March that their last class before spring break could be their last meeting in person.
COVID-19 turned life upside-down for Iowa’s 100,000-plus full-time university and college students as a month ago classes moved online. Some struggle to care for loved ones with weakened immune systems, and others can’t find WiFi access to earn the semester’s credits. Still others pay their rent without their low-wage job or worry about an upcoming graduation and job search. “In some ways this virus is like 9/11, where it will impact society and how things are done because of it,” said Kealan Graham, 26, who is pursuing a master’s in elementary education and is home in Greater Des Moines. “I hope this helps people realize how important paid sick leave is, how important health care is, and how important every job is to the function of society.”
The new normal: Uncertainty, disruption and adapting.
The projected sticker price for Iowans wanting to attend a private college or university in-state will exceed $60,000 annually by 2024-25 at nine private Iowa schools and 10 the following school year in 2025-26, The Hechinger Report projected after studying tuition and cost-of-living trends for higher education institutions nationwide via Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data. Our report includes a podcast.
While some first-time Iowa voters say they are well-informed about the 2018 gubernatorial race of Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds, Democrat Fred Hubbell and Libertarian Jake Porter, others getting ready to vote for the first time said they still were doing research.
Iowa State University officials need to do a better job telling Iowans — taxpayers, business leaders and especially Iowa legislators — about the value ISU and the state’s universities give Iowa, ISU president Wendy Wintersteen said in an IowaWatch interview. Listen to the podcast of that interview.
ByZoe Seiler, Jace Neugebauer, Lauren Wade and K. Rambo |
Dylan Miller spent $495 on college textbooks at the University of Northern Iowa – $167.50 for a linear algebra textbook – in the spring semester just ending, yet said he might have used the books, perhaps, once a month. The internet? Used it close to two hours each day, he said, raising the issue of why he still buys textbooks. “That’s a great question,” Miller, 20, a sophomore this spring semester from Homestead, Iowa, and studying for a major in actuarial science, said. “I will not be buying textbooks next semester.”
A lot of college students are avoiding textbooks costs that generally can range from around $20 for a book on writing grant proposals to $400 for a physics book, a spring IowaWatch/College Media Journalism Project revealed.
Q: What did you spend on textbooks this semester? Cody West: This semester, I spent $74.50 for one English textbook and it appears about $270 in course delivery fees… I also had a $81.49 textbook. Cody West, 21
Iowa State University
Spring 2018 senior
Hometown: Altoona, Iowa
Q: Most expensive book:
West: Oh goodness. I want to say that my freshman year my biology book with the access code to do my biology homework was about $220. Q: How often do you use your textbooks?
ByPam Dempsey and Dave Dickey/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Argentina and Brazil may fill China’s soybean needs if China imposes a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybean exports. Chad Hart, an agriculture economist at Iowa State University, said the impact depends on what happens during negotiations. IOWA NOTE: China is the second-largest market for Iowa exports ($2.3 billion in 2016 – $1.8 billion of it oilseeds and grains), behind Canada ($3.4 billion in 2016). “It is so hard to say, ‘This is what is going to happen.’ There are so many other moving parts,” he said. “This is a disagreement between the U.S. and China, but it has ramifications for Argentina and Brazil.”
Earlier this month, the United States and China both announced taxes on billions of dollars worth of imported goods — China is seeking tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. products that include soybeans and pork, while the U.S. announced taxes on $150 billion worth of 1,300 Chinese products, including electronics.