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University of Iowa reverses decision to take away student Heritage scholarships

CLINTON, Iowa – Students who were promised scholarships, then had them taken away, will now get them back again.

The University of Iowa is reinstating millions of dollars of scholarships.

On Wednesday, March 1 2017, university leaders said they're returning scholarships to current students and those enrolling this fall after announcing its plans to cut scholarships for 3,000 students.

After the announcement was made, two proposed class action lawsuits had been filed, challenging the university’s plans to cut the scholarships.

Tim Shultheis daughter, Paiton is a freshman at the University of Iowa studying pre-pharmacy. She was one of the 3,000 students awarded $1,500 a year from the school.

Paiton’s tuition is around $36,000 for four years at the University of Iowa, not including the additional pharmacy schooling she’ll have to attend after. Shultheis says total cost will be around $140,000 for her degree. He banked on the money from the scholarship to help pay for his daughter’s tuition.

“It was budgeted into the whole cost of school, books and boarding. College is a pricey thing now. Every little bit helps,” said Shultheis.

University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld announced last week the University would cut its Heritage scholarships, blaming the Iowa state legislature.

Lawmakers cut $8 million in funding for the school in the middle of the year. The scholarships were canceled to help the university make up for a budget shortfall.

“Iowa State and Northern Iowa face the same cuts and they found other places to cut the money," said Shultheis. “My concern what why would Iowa go at the students first?”

Two University of Iowa students filed lawsuits claiming the university “breached its contractual duties” by eliminating two scholarship awards that helped convince her to attend University of Iowa instead of another college.

As a university of Iowa Alumnnus, Schultheis says he wants his daughter to continue the tradition and is happy to hear the scholarships were reinstated.

“I’m hoping everything stays how it is. We are back to normal and positive and we are happy she's at Iowa,” added Schultheis.

In the letter sent out to parents and students on Wednesday, President of the University of Iowa, Bruce Harreld said the University takes its relationship with students and alumni seriously and apologized for the disruption caused to families.

The Iowa Heritage Award will no longer be offered to new students who start at the University in 2018.