Tuition freeze only at Bloomington

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Tuition freeze only at Bloomington

Hannah Foreman, Staff Reporter

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The Indiana University Bloomington campus experienced a freeze this past summer but not in the weather. As of June 3rd, IU Bloomington tuition rates will be frozen and will not be increased for the next two years for undergraduate students who live in Indiana.

Out-of-state residents attending IU Bloomington will experience a 1.5 percent increase in tuition each year while IUPUI and all regional IU campuses will see a 1.65 percent increase each year.

IU President Michael McRobbie presented the Board of Trustees with these recommendations as an expansion of the efforts to control tuition costs over the past two years for more than 18,000 students. The increase the other schools will see is consistent with the Indiana Commission of Higher Education guidelines on tuition.

IU has also planned to start working with the ICHE to set banded tuition rates for IUPUI and all regional campuses for the 2016-17 school year. This means that instead of students paying per credit hour, they will pay a set price for a “band” of course hours, in an attempt to encourage students to take more classes each semester and promote graduation in four years.

Mary Frances McCourt, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of IU, says that it is important to understand the absolute dollar difference with resident tuition between IU Bloomington and IU Southeast.

Academic year tuition at IU for in-state residents is $10,387.56 while resident tuition at IUS is $6,949.20, which is a 49% higher starting point for Bloomington students.

When setting tuition, the varied sources of revenue for each school and expenses to run them must be looked at separately. Every campus is its own unit and their respective revenue supports their respective expenses.

For example, IU has a complex structure with not only a large academic structure, but an extensive research base, athletics organization, and housing and parking business base as well. Bloomington revenue sources are diversified with tuition and fees, grants and contracts, auxiliary business, and gifts.

IU Southeast on the other hand is more concentrated on tuition and fees which is much lower for an IU Southeast resident than a student in Bloomington.

Since the fall of 2006, IU Southeast has seen an average tuition increase of approximately $6 from 2006 to 2009, with a jump of almost $30 from the fall 2009 semester to the fall 2010 semester, and an increase of approximately $4 from 2010 to 2015 for in-state residents.

For out-of-state students, the change is much more dramatic. The rates have increased almost $200 from the fall of 2006 until now.

Ashley McKay, director of student accounting services, says that in monetary terms this increase translates to an in-state or reciprocity undergraduate student paying $4 more per credit hour this semester than in Fall 2014.

For a full time student taking 12 credit hours, this equates to $48 more per semester, but the total dollar amount difference paid will depend on the number of credit hours a student is enrolled in for the term.

For some, this increase may be a burden on their ability to pay for school. Financial Aid limits are set by the federal and state governments and are not tied to tuition increases at an individual university so there won’t necessarily be an increase in the amount of financial aid available to students simply because of the rise of tuition costs.

However, IU Southeast does offer a variety of scholarships and encourages all students to put in an application for all the ones for which they are eligible for.

Carson Roos, business management sophomore, said she thinks the increase is unjustified.

“It doesn’t really seem fair that students who are going to a smaller school because they can’t afford to go to IU Bloomington are getting an increase on how much they have to pay, while the students at IU Bloomington who can afford to be there aren’t having to deal with an increase in costs,” Roos said.

Aaron Brooks, undecided sophomore, is less concerned about the tuition hike.

“To be honest, it doesn’t really mean that much to me. Increases happen so I’m not exactly surprised. This is America, education isn’t cheap,” Brooks said.

According to Chancellor Ray Wallace, many students transfer from two year schools, like JCTC which is less expensive, to IUS.

“IU Southeast is the best deal in town for a public four year degree,” Wallace said.