State senator aims to make college more affordable for local students

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State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) announced he is authoring several bills aimed at improving affordability and accountability in higher education.

“College has simply become too costly for many Hoosier families,” Banks said. “Improving transparency in the higher education system will allow us to pinpoint where these costs are increasing and hold administrators accountable for changes that negatively affect the students they serve. We can further cut unnecessary expenses by making simple changes to credit transfers between universities, saving students the time and money it takes to replace these classes.”

Banks’ plans include provisions to:

  • Give more independence to regional campuses from their parent schools. (view Senate bill 98)
  • Reduce in-state tuition rates for U.S. military veterans returning from service. (view Senate bill 177)
  • Improve transparency in regard to faculty hiring, tenure and salaries among state institutions. (view Senate bill 180)
  • Enhance credit transferability through a common course numbering system and requiring associate degrees credits to be counted toward a bachelor’s degree. (view Senate bill 182)
  • Hold university departments of education more accountable for teachers’ understanding of content and instructional methods. (SB 406 not available online yet.)
  • Create more dual college-credit course options for high school students. (SB 409 not available online yet.)

The primary goal of Banks’ plan is to make college a less expensive option for Indiana students while ensuring there is more accountability for public investment in higher education.

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