Indiana University no longer will offer a summer tuition discount for the Bloomington campus after finding it was not keeping a significant number of students on campus.
The discount — 25 percent off in-state tuition, or an equal dollar reduction for out-of-state students — only helped spike tuition by 1 percent at IU Bloomington from 2011 to 2012 and a 0.5 percent drop into the 2013 summer session. Regional campuses, however, have had more success, and IU will continue offer the discount at those campuses to try and drive students toward graduating in four years.
While enrollment in Bloomington remained almost flat, the Kokomo campus saw a nearly 13 percent increase in summer 2013, and IU East in Richmond grew 9 percent, according to IU’s figures.
Going into the discount experiment, IU spokesman Mark Land said IU officials were aware the dynamics in Bloomington would be different than on the regional campuses. Bloomington offers the most “traditional” college experience of IU’s campuses, Land said, catering to a population of students more accustomed to using the summer for work opportunities and internships.
Despite hopes that lowered tuition would keep students in town, helping make better use of facilities during down months, students continue to go elsewhere for the summer. In the first year of the program in 2012, IU’s enrollment increased 3 percent systemwide, far short of President Michael McRobbie’s hope for a 10 percent jump and converting the college experience to a “year-round education.”
“In Bloomington, the discount didn’t really move the needle,” Land said.
On the regional campuses, Land said there are more students who live in the area or work and go to school at the same time, and the discount was enough of an incentive for them to enroll in summer classes. Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis also has an easier time drawing summer students because of its location in a major metropolitan area.
In an unrelated move, the university will increase the cap on the number of credit hours a student can take per semester for a flat fee, from 17 to 18, based on the recommendation of the Board of Aeons, a student group that advises the president. IU officials hope the increase, which will take effect in fall 2014, will compel students to take more credit hours and graduate faster.
IU estimates an in-state student taking 18 credit hours in the new system will save $284 per semester compared to the current cost of taking 18 credits — usually the equivalent of six, three-credit hour classes; an out-of-state student would save about $1,000.
But Land pointed out IU officials don’t yet know if students aren’t taking 18 credit hours becaus of cost, or because a heavy courseload is undesireable.
©2014 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)
Visit the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) at www.heraldtimesonline.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services