Tuition to spike over next two years


The university Board of Trustees moved to increase tuition to $7,460 for the 2017-18 school year and $7,829 in 2018-19.

Tuition for 2016-17 currently sits at $7,105. The increase also includes a $2.50 hike per credit hour per semester in the technology fee.

University President Linda Bennett said the increased tuition and fees money will be used to meet on-going operational expenses along with enhancing technological security and meeting the technological needs of students.

“While we are not trying to minimize the fact that it is an increase, it is an increase that will allow us to hire more faculty and provide even a minimal level of compensation increase to the employees who work here,” she said. “We’ve got to make sure that we hold on to the high quality that we have and to continue working ahead to support them because they make the education quality possible at USI.”

The move to increase tuition followed a public forum held discuss any concerns with the rise in tuition. There was no discussion from the public at the forum.

Under Indiana law, public universities are required to hold a public forum to discuss any increases they plan to make to tuition or fees. Those universities must set those rates within 60 days of the state budget bill being enacted into law. The state budget was enacted into law April 27.

The state budget, House Bill 1001, is a biennial budget, which means all state finances are budgeted two years in advance.

The state appropriations for USI only grant about $420,000 in new money. Bennett said a 2% increase in salaries would be around $1.4 million, so the increased state funding would not be enough for what they want to do.

Funding for state universities is determined by performance funding formulas, which calculates metrics like degree completion and student persistence. Any new funding is reallocated into a higher education pool. Universities must then earn that money back by performing well under the funding formulas.

“it is the reallocation components of this that I have the strongest objections to that I think make it very difficult for a campus like USI to be able to increase the support we need,” she said.

While the tuition increase hurts the affordability aspect of the university, it still has the lowest tuition rate of any public university in Indiana excluding regional campuses.

“We remain incredibly affordable even in comparison to those other public universities. It positions us very well in terms of going ahead and supporting the education that’s here on campus,” Bennett said.