Education stock

INDIANAPOLIS– The State Budget Committee heard testimony Monday from state universities that are increasing tuition in the coming academic year.

Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, said Hoosiers are spending more of their salaries on college tuition than they did 10 years ago.

The committee heard from and asked questions of university leaders from Indiana University, Vincennes University, Ivy Tech Community College, the University of Southern Indiana and Indiana State. Each college had tuition hikes that exceeded the Commission of Higher Education’s recommendations.

The commission recommended that base tuition and mandatory fees for resident undergraduate students should be held at current levels or adjusted by no more than 1.65% in the next two school years.

Purdue, among Indiana’s public universities, is holding the line on tuition hikes. In June, the college announced a freeze on tuition for the eighth consecutive year.

At Ivy Tech Community College, officials closed campuses, sold property and cut employees. The school lost money when the state dropped the cost of dual credit courses from $50 to $45, said Matt Hawkins, senior vice president and chief financial officer for Ivy Tech Community College. Dual credit courses allow high school students to earn both high school and college credits.

John Sejdinaj, vice president and chief financial officer for Indiana University, said the school has seen a decline in enrollments across all categories—residential, regional and international.

He said the college accepts over 75% of its applicants, but the college has had to increase fees to attain a higher budget.

“Our rule is to graduate more people, more Hoosiers, so that we can generate income for the state,” he said.

From 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, tuition increased by 1.4% each year. In June, IU announced a 2.5% increase for in-state undergraduate students on all of its campuses for each of the next two school years. Out-of-state undergraduate tuition will increase by 3%.

Aaron Trump, chief government and legal affairs officer at the University of Southern Indiana, said tuition and fees will increase 2% for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

Trump said this will cost students $156.90 in year one and $159.90 in year two.

Sen. Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, said he would speak to the Commission for Higher Education to get a report that would break down the percent of state dollars, percent of tuition and fees from all the universities’ total revenues.

Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalists.