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Lawsuits filed as University of Iowa pulls scholarships

University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed challenging the University of Iowa’s decision to eliminate scholarships that had been promised to roughly 3,000 students.

University of Iowa student Jenna Pokorny is the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, February 27, 2017 in Johnson County. It claims the university “breached its contractual duties” by eliminating two scholarship awards that helped convince her to attend University of Iowa instead of another college.

A separate lawsuit filed Monday in Polk County claims the university’s decision to revoke the scholarships without notice violated students’ constitutional rights. University of Iowa student Benjamin Muller is the plaintiff in that case.

University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld announced last week that he was eliminating the Iowa Heritage Award, which granted $1,500 per year to students whose parents or grandparents attended the school. Harreld cited a “devastating” $8 million funding cut from lawmakers as the rationale.

A university spokesperson declined comment on the litigation.