IBJNews

Ball State announces moves to stem tuition costs

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Ball State University said Tuesday it will offer $500 scholarships to students on track to graduate within four years and take other steps that could save some students as much as $10,000 over the course of their college careers — making it Indiana's latest state school to respond to legislative calls to reduce student costs.

In addition to the scholarships, the Muncie-based school said it also will reduce the number of credit hours needed to graduate, cut summer tuition by an average of 18 percent and encourage students to take online courses.

Ball State's move follows similar actions taken by other state-supported schools. Indiana University and the University of Southern Indiana both reduced summer tuition, and Indiana State University reduced a planned tuition increase for undergraduate in-state students from 3.5 percent to 1.5 percent.

Legislators have criticized recent tuition increases at state-supported schools, even while cutting their state funding amid the economic downturn and slow recovery. Two decades ago, half of Indiana University's budget came from the state. Now it's at 20 percent, a rate shared by Purdue University. About 33 percent of Ball State's budget comes from the state.

Ball State spokeswoman Joan Todd readily acknowledged that the moves announced Tuesday were made in response to political pressure.

"We want to respond to what the Legislature has challenged us to do. We think these steps are very creative," she said.

State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, who chairs the Senate's appropriations committee, said he thinks the steps Ball State is taking will particularly help students who are paying full tuition. He said he doesn't know if the school would have acted without the legislative pressure, but he believes it caused the other schools to act.

"I'm glad they're all reacting and trying to do what we asked them to do," he said.

IU spokesman Mark Land said the tuition cut there wasn't a direct response to the Legislature, but he acknowledged there was a "heightened awareness" among higher education officials that they needed to do more to reduce the cost of attending the school and to make it easier to graduate within four years.

Diann McKee, ISU's treasurer, downplayed the role legislative pressure played in the Terre Haute school's decision to roll back a tuition increase in October. She said the economic climate and the fact that many ISU students are first-generation college students from families that aren't affluent played a large role.

"I believe both the Legislature and the commission for higher education have made it clear that we believe affordability is a very important issue. And to the degree our colleges are willing to look at ways to decrease the cost for students and families, we think that's very important," said Indiana higher education commissioner Teresa Lubbers.

The four steps outlined by Ball State include: offering a $500 scholarship during the last semester to students in line to graduate within four years; reducing the number of credit hours required of an undergraduate from 126 to 120, eliminating the need for overloaded course schedules; allowing students who take 12 credit hours to take an additional six online or on campus at no additional charge, potentially saving up to $3,000 a year; and reducing summer tuition by an average of 18 percent. Ball State said students who take courses each summer could graduate sooner and save as much as $400 each summer.

"We built into this a financial incentive for most students ... to be able to complete their degree within four years," Todd said.

Ball State said it is seeking to maximize the number of undergraduate degrees that can be completed in eight 15-credit-hour semesters. The school said in a statement that students who take advantage of all options could save as much as $10,000 over four years.

"The focus now is on the student, and how do we help the student out," Kenley said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Good Steps...But Too Late for Me!
    These steps Ball State has taken is a move in the right direction and I am glad for the students who are currently enrolled; however, I have been out of school for only a year and am trying to pay on $50,000 worth of loans, and I even had half off my tuition! It only took me 4 years to graduate and took online classes during the summer. I'm voting for a refund! :)

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT