FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne’s (IPFW) recent tuition increase for the 2011–12 school year is significantly less than the national average; a silver lining that is creating positive feedback on campus.
According to the Associated Press, students at four-year public colleges and universities across the U.S. are paying an average of 8.3 percent more in tuition this year. IPFW raised tuition for the 2011–12 school year by a much smaller 2.5 percent. And this year’s increase came in under the previous four IPFW increases of 4.5 percent (2007–09) and 5 percent (2009–11). So what gives?
“We have a desire to keep college affordable,” said Walt Branson, vice chancellor for financial affairs at IPFW. “We also listened to open dialogue from students, parents, legislators, and recommendations from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.”
Tuition and fees for IPFW are approved by the executive committee of the Purdue University board of trustees. Purdue raised base tuition 2.5 percent, with an additional 1 percent fee increase for a student recreation facility, for a total of 3.5 percent.
IU Bloomington’s fees went up 5.5 percent overall with a 3.5 percent tuition increase and an additional 2 percent fee to cover repair and maintenance costs for IU buildings and infrastructure.
“No matter how you look at it, an IPFW education is still a bargain,” said Chancellor Michael Wartell. “We’ve managed to maintain reasonable tuition by focusing on the most important of our academic goals and ensuring the efficiency of our university operations.”
According to IPFW student Aaron McClaskey, a fourth year English major, a tuition increase is never well received by students, but IPFW’s transparency about how tuition hikes are occurring, where the money is going, and how increased investment benefits students and not just the institution goes a long way in the eyes of the student population.
“When the dollar difference per credit hour is broken down to a $6.05/hr. increase, it doesn’t seem so bad,” said McClaskey.
The tuition increase includes all course fees, which makes IPFW stand out from other institutions that have separate fee structures. Those fees included at IPFW cover technology, student services, parking, R&R, and facilities.
“We don’t have any hidden fees,” said Branson. “No matter what class you are taking, it is all the same cost at IPFW, which is less confusing for students.”
Federal grants and tax credits are also up, which many students see as a silver lining. According to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, student aid has grown an average of 7 percent this year, which is up from a 6.8 percent increase last year.
“I received a Federal Pell Grant for this academic year which helped cover my tuition,” says McClaskey. “I’m also part of the federal work/study program, which not only provides monetary aid but also incalculable benefits through my employment in a field relevant to my degree.”
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education recommended a 2.5 percent increase for the 2011–12 academic year. IPFW, along with Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central, had the lowest increases of all Indiana public universities.
“We’ve been lucky to have a Chancellor who wants to put students and academics first,” said McClaskey. “This is reflected in the way IPFW prepares students for the job market and the strides to keep college affordable. IPFW’s tuition has always been affordable when compared to other universities, both in- and out-of-state, and it remains so, even with the recent increase.”
For more information, contact Walt Branson at 260-481-6804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.