Graduate and Professional Financial Retention Incentive

In the current fiscal reality, graduate and professional students are graduating from Iowa institutions with, on average, just over $100,000 in debt (range: $0 to >$300,000). This proposal from student leaders across the State to Governor Branstad and the Iowa Legislature represents an effort to decrease the financial burden of pursuing graduate and professional education as well as an attempt to retain Iowa's highly educated students within the State of Iowa for employment.

Overview and Purpose

This incentive is being pursued in collaboration with student leaders at UI, ISU, UNI, and with administration of Iowa's Independent Colleges. The purpose of this proposal is three-fold:

1) To promote the fiscal affordability and accessibility of graduate and professional education across the State of Iowa.

2) To incentivize Iowa-educated graduate and professional students to remain in Iowa for initial employment after completing their training. This program would synergize with Governor Branstad's effort to bring high-skill high-wage jobs into the State and allow these positions to be filled with Iowa-educated graduates.


The process to develop this proposal is underway and will be undertaken in four overlapping phases:

Phase I: Historical Data Collection for Institutions and Departments (IN PROGRESS)
Phase II: Statewide Student Survey (IN PROGRESS)
Phase III: Data Analysis and Proposal Formulation
Phase IV: Promotion

Preliminary Tax Incentive Report


For more information on this project, please contact:

University of Iowa:   Josh Schonefeld -

Iowa State University:   Neil Vezeau -

University of Northern Iowa:   Renae Beard -

Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities:  Gary Steinke -


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