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IOWA CITY — The Iowa Board of Regents says it wants to eliminate the practice of using tuition dollars to give scholarships to low-income students within five years.

The regents voted Wednesday during a meeting in Iowa City to create a 12-member committee tasked with developing a long-term plan to end the practice, in which about 20 percent of tuition revenue is used for financial aid.

The practice dates to the 1980s. Last year, more than $144 million went to nearly 26,000 students as need-based and merit-based scholarships. Some parents and Republican lawmakers have been critical of the practice, which they say hurts middle-class families by raising their costs to subsidize other students.

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Regents say the committee will develop a plan for a state-wide scholarship program and private fundraising to replace the aid.

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