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Indiana Colleges Waiting To Set Tuition Rates

By CityTownInfo.com Staff

March 30, 2009

Public colleges in Indiana are waiting until legislators approve a new state budget before they announce next year's tuition rates.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Indiana universities will announce their 2009-2010 tuition in May, which will be weeks after the deadline for students to accept admission offers. The wait is proving to be frustrating for students trying to narrow their college choices.

"Not knowing until later could make a difference for a lot of families right now who are dealing with the problems of the economy," said Jill Palmer, who visited Purdue University with her son, John Doherty. Although Doherty has already received a scholarship with the Purdue College of Engineering, Palmer noted that "it would be nice to know now if the cost could be another $1,000 in two years."

Purdue and other Indiana schools are waiting until the General Assembly approves a state budget before setting tuition. The legislature's determination will likely be based on nonbinding recommendations given by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to the state budget committee on May 8.

"Our trustees set our tuition policy and they'll do so after the appropriations are finished at the end of April and also taking into account the Commission on Higher Education's recommendation," said Purdue President Dr. France Cordova, who was quoted on MSNBC.com [from an article originally located at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29730141/].

Jo Ann Gora, president at Ball State University, echoed the same sentiment. "We feel very strongly that what we offer is an incredible value, but we are dependent on state appropriations and we certainly would not make any decisions on tuition and fees until the state legislature acted," she said.

Indiana's Journal & Courier notes that in the meantime, Purdue officials are telling families to expect about a 4 percent increase in tuition--$8,060 for Indiana residents and $24,160 for nonresidents. And Pamela Horne, assistant vice president for enrollment management and dean of admissions, said that families are far more interested in finding out their financial aid packages, which were scheduled to be mailed out this week.

Dana Slater, a senior liberal arts major at Purdue, agreed. She noted that even an increase of $1,000 would not be substantial to students paying for their higher education with loans.

In a related story, some Indiana students are claiming that they were rejected admission to Indiana University and Purdue while the schools instead accepted higher-paying out-of-state students. Some contend that the schools welcome the extra tuition and therefore like to attract more students from outside Indiana. According to WISH TV News 8, the number of in-state undergraduate students at IU Bloomington and Purdue West Lafayette has dropped 10 percent since 1998.

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