by CARMEN SIERING
In a move designed to make the cost of post-secondary education more affordable and predictable, Ivy Tech Community College has introduced a tuition model that freezes tuition from now through the 2022–23 academic year, rolls the cost of textbooks into the course fee structure, and promises that no full- time student will pay more than $4,500 per year to attend, no matter how many credit hours they take per semester.
In addition, the Summer-Flex Scholarship program allows eligible full- time students who do not take 15 credit hours in a semester to take up to six free credit hours over the summer in order to reach 30 credit hours for the year.
While part-time students will continue to pay for classes per credit hour, textbooks are also included in their course fees.
“We want students to be successful and have everything they need on day one,” Ivy Tech–Bloomington Chancellor Jennie Vaughn says. “Faculty tell me their students are struggling financially, that they can’t afford their books. I think this is going to be a gamechanger.”
Of the 6,000 students on the Bloomington campus, approximately 3,300 are degree-seeking students who have declared a major, Vaughn says. Of those, the most recent data show 60% attend part time and 40% full time. She feels the new tuition structure may change that.
“When I think about Ivy+, where the books are included and the tuition is banded, I see this number flipping,” Vaughn says. “I can imagine students looking at this and realizing that if they can take just one more class, it’s a way of graduating just a little bit sooner.”
Ivy+ is a statewide program approved by the Ivy Tech State Board of Trustees. Its adoption makes Ivy Tech one of the first schools in Indiana to utilize this type of tuition model. The cost of textbooks in the 2021–22 academic year is covered through the federal government’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
“I really applaud college leadership. They’ve taken their time to do this right by investigating other colleges and seeing how their retention rates and graduation rates are rising [with similar programs],” Vaughn says. “You’ve just got to do the right thing.
I’m excited we can offer this to our students and to our community.”
For more information, visit ivytech.edu/tuition.