Indiana panel recommends tuition increases below 1.4 percent

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is calling for the state’s public colleges and universities to limit annual tuition increases to less than 1.4 percent in the next two school years.

Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers said the target aims to ensure college is affordable for students and families. She adds that recent tuition increases are the lowest in nearly three decades.

From the 2006-07 school year through the current one, in-state tuition at Indiana’s public four-year colleges grew by an average of 1.8 percent a year, compared to the national average of 3.5 percent. Those numbers place Indiana’s four-year public colleges 6th nationally for lowest average one-year tuition increase over ten years.

Authority for setting tuition rates ultimately rests with the board of trustees at each college or university. Nine of 16 public colleges met the commission’s last two-year recommendation. Purdue University-West Lafayette and Indiana University-Bloomington have frozen tuition and mandatory fees for several years.

Indiana colleges must hold a public hearing within 30 days of the commission setting the tuition and fee targets. Institutions must set tuition and mandatory fee rates for the next two academic years within 60 days of the enactment of the state budget.