IU offers tuition freeze for on-time graduation


Students at one of the state's biggest universities who get good grades will get a price break.

Since 1999, tuition costs have skyrocketed. The cost of a college education is up 168 percent at Purdue, 148 percent at Ball State, 140 percent at Indiana State. Indiana University's tuition went up 134 percent and the price to go to Vincennes University went up 89 percent.

But now, IU is freezing tuition for students on course to graduate on time.

IU students dressed for the fall chill, say this is one freeze they are looking forward to. With a big smile, sophomore Hanna Catt said, "It is obviously a good deal."

Freshman and sophomores with good grades and on schedule to graduate in four years, won't pay the annual increases in tuition and mandatory fees when they are juniors and seniors.

"That's perfect. That's awesome," said Emily Schultheis, a sophomore theatre major from Evansville.

Every year, the cost of attending IU goes up about three-and-a-half percent. The university says freezing tuition and fees would save students about $1,600. That's a welcome relief for graduates with college loans averaging $27,000.

Jon Thomas Lord did the math.

"With interest rates on student loans, I mean, it saves you a lot in the long run," he said.

Catt anticipates graduating deep in debt, as well.

"When you think about it, $1,500, $1,600, I can put to paying off student loans, it really does make a difference," she said.

It's also an incentive to graduate on time and save even more money. On the Bloomington campus, only half of the students earn a diploma in four years. The tuition freeze is also a sales point. Imagine being a parent, looking for a place to send your child to school and finding out if they do well, you save money.

"The message was very well received by parents, who were excited," said IU spokesperson Mark Land, about an admissions event. "It was popular."

Tuition and mandatory fees on the IU Bloomington campus total about $9,600. Land, however, says less than a third of students pay that much. The rest are receiving scholarships, grants, and other financial assistance.

Other state-funded universities who spoke with Eyewitness News insist they are curbing costs, as well. Ball State says it has a program to drop increases for students on track to graduate.

Purdue says it is focused on increasing revenue by going to a year round calendar and expanding its online courses.

From the Associated Press

Indiana University students who graduate within four years could pay less tuition than those who take longer under a plan unveiled by President Michael McRobbie.

The on-time completion award program announced Tuesday will freeze tuition for students after their sophomore year if they are on track to graduate in four years.

The program takes effect next fall. It will provide eligible students financial awards equal to any increase in tuition and fees that they would otherwise incur during their final two years at IU.

Students who receive the award and fail to graduate in four years would pay current tuition and fee rates for the additional time at IU.

McRobbie says the program signals IU is serious about keeping college affordable and ensuring that students graduate on time.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)