Purdue tuition freeze reignites conversation about rising cost of college

Education
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A two-year tuition freeze at the Purdue University West Lafayette campus is welcome news to the Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education who said the significant increase in tuition costs in recent years needs to stop.

Data released by The Commission for Higher Education reveals that nearly two-thirds of Hoosiers are graduating in debt and borrow about $27,000 on average to finance their four year degree. Thirty-five percent of students have also defaulted on their loans in the past three years.

“Everyone is always trying to save money,” said Lindsey Fred, a Purdue University student.

“It’s all daunting in all honesty,” said Charlotte Mader, a prospective Purdue University student who said the Purdue tuition freeze announcement was a relief.

In the 2013-2015 school year in-state Purdue students will pay $9,992 in tuition a year, and out-of-state students will pay $28,794.

“If we have to engage in across the board cuts, or something like it, we can do that, but we won’t start there,” said Mitch Daniels, Purdue University President.

The University will need to fill a $40 million hole created by the tuition freeze.

“Families are spending more and more of their family’s income to pay for college,” said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education.

Purdue University, Ball State University, Indiana University at Bloomington and IUPUI, among other public universities, have increased the tuition by far more than 100 percent between 2000 and 2013.

“We are looking at a budget right now where we’re considering putting a higher investment in higher education, and increasing state funding for our colleges and universities, and we hope that comes with an expectation that they’ll contain their tuition increases,” said Lubbers.

“This is the right decision for our university today, and you’ll hear no criticism out of me about anything anyone else does or doesn’t do,” said Daniels.

Other public colleges also tell Fox59 they are improving the affordability of higher education by discounting summer courses and offering financial incentives to students who stay on track to graduate within four years among other cost-saving opportunities.

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