Trustees approve tuition freeze

The IU Board of Trustees put on a public forum to discuss IU President Michael McRobbie’s tuition fee proposal, but no comments were made, which resulted in board approval.

At the end of May, McRobbie recommended to the board that tuition rates for in-state IU-Bloomington students should not increase for the next two years.

The trustees then conducted a forum June 3 at the IU-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus Center to hear any comments from trustees or the general public. Before comments were made, McRobbie and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of IU, MaryFrances McCourt, presented their plans.

In his presentation, McRobbie outlined how the University’s plans aligned with the state’s agenda to get more students from Indiana to graduate and graduate on time.

“State leaders have called upon Indiana’s public universities and colleges to produce more Hoosier graduates who have the skills necessary to succeed in today’s global job market,” McRobbie said. “They have also called on us to do more to ensure that students persist to graduate and complete their degrees on time. Our response to these challenges clearly demonstrates that the university’s mission and actions are closely aligned to the goals of the state.”

McRobbie rattled off various statistics to prove how IU student graduation is increasing and hit on this year’s record number of graduates. This spring, IU campuses had 10 commencement ceremonies where more than 20,000 students received IU degress, McRobbie said. Of those 20,000, 19,344 were from IU-managed campuses and 1,009 from IU-Purdue University Fort Wayne, which is managed by Purdue, McRobbie said.

McRobbie also spoke about how IU demonstrated its ambition to keep IU students out of debt by bringing up the Finish in Four initiative that rewards students who are on track to graduate in four years.

Toward the end of his speech, McRobbie repeated one statistic to stand out among the others.

“The average net cost at IU-Bloomington is the lowest among those in the Big Ten,” McRobbie said.

After his comments, McCourt spoke more in detail about where the University was financially to make this type of proposal.

She explained to the audience and board that tuition rates often increase because of technological change, university reliance on a highly educated workforce, shifting subsidies and other factors.

After this, she explained the rate increase for all IU undergraduates. For those at IU-Bloomington, there would be no increase, but every other campus would have increases.

IUPUI will have a 1.65 percent increase, IU-East Richmond will have a 2.1 percent increase, IU-Kokomo will have a 1.92 percent increase, IU-Northwest Gary will have a 1.59 percent increase, IU-South Bend will have a 1.17 percent increase and IU-Southeast New Albany will have a 1.79 percent increase.

McCourt broke these numbers down into the weekly and semester-long increases per student. Students at IUPUI will pay an additional $4.60 per week or $73.54 per semester, which is the biggest increase of all campuses.

“If you think about spending over a week and college students, there are many choices you can make that can easily you can save $5,” McCourt said.

Graduate school tuition rates will increase by anywhere from 1.7 percent to 3 percent for all students at all IU campuses, including IU-Bloomington.

After she spoke, chair of the board of trustees Randy Tobias opened the floor to questions and comments from trustees, those in attendance and any questions that may have come through via email, but there were none.

As a result, tuition will not increase for IU-Bloomington resident students for the next two years.

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