INDIANAPOLIS -- Most Indiana University students are facing an average 1.75 percent tuition increase each of the next two years under a plan approved by the school's board of trustees.
University officials said the proposal approved Wednesday will increase tuition for full-time in-state students by about $175 a year and be the smallest such percentage increase for students in more than three decades, The Herald-Times reported.
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The lower tuition hike follows several years of criticism from legislators over rising costs at state-supported schools, even while cutting college funding during the recession and slow recovery.
University President Michael McRobbie told trustees during their meeting in Indianapolis that school officials have been mindful about the public concerns over college costs while aiming to continue providing "world-class educational opportunities for our students."
"As we developed our budget for the coming biennium, we considered every option that would allow us to recommend to our trustees the lowest possible tuition increase over the next two years to ensure the continuing affordability of an IU education," McRobbie said.
Tuition and general fees for IU's main campus in Bloomington will increase to about $10,200 for the coming school year and to nearly $10,400 in 2014-15.
Tuition increases at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and IU's regional campuses also will increase by an average of 1.75 percent, although those rates will vary the university moves toward establishing a uniform tuition for all its regional campuses.
Non-resident tuition and fees will increase 2.75 percent each of the next two years in Bloomington; 1.75 percent at IUPUI; and from 1.5 percent to 2 percent at the regional campuses.
IU's tuition increase compares with a 2 percent tuition increase approved Thursday by Ball State University trustees, while Purdue is freezing tuition at its West Lafayette campus. Ivy Tech Community College trustees approved a tuition increase of more than 8 percent Thursday.
McRobbie said IU officials were grateful for a state funding increase of $16.5 million over the next two years.
Board of Trustees member Patrick Shoulders of Evansville said he didn't believe that the state funding increase was adequate, pointing out that it barely covers inflation and that IU expects health care costs to increase by at least $15 million.
Two decades ago, about half of Indiana University's budget came from the state, but that is now less than 20 percent.