Regional campuses reduce costs, barriers to encourage more Hoosiers to attend college

IU campuses around state focus on accessibility to, value of higher education

Students walk outside on the IU South Bend campus.View print quality image
Through new initiatives, IU's regional campuses are focused on both the accessibility to and value of higher education. Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University is working with students and high schools across the state to make the transition to college more seamless while lowering common barriers to post-secondary education. With five regional campuses, IU is taking steps to help high school students access college-level classes while also reducing common fees.

"Our students come from across the state, and each faces different challenges on their way to starting their college career," said Susan Sciame-Giesecke, IU vice president for regional campuses and online education. "By doing what we can to understand potential barriers, work through solutions and offer up meaningful and valuable opportunities to our students, we can work together to ensure those students who want to continue their education are able to transition as seamlessly as possible to an IU campus."

Eliminating common fees

Beginning this month, all IU regional campuses have eliminated the application fee, parking fees and the per-credit-hour fee for Advance College Project courses for Indiana residents.

U.S. residents (both in-state and out-of-state) applying to one of IU's regional campuses through Apply IU can now do so for free, with the $35 application fee being eliminated. By simply applying, students are automatically considered for some scholarships, which can further reduce the cost of attending school.

Full-time in-state undergraduate students who received gift aid were awarded an average of $7,600 during the 2021-22 academic year, from a combination of IU, federal, state, and private grants and scholarships. The majority of those students used their aid to assist with tuition and fees, which are approximately $8,000.

In addition, all students at IU's regional campuses -- IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU Southeast and IU South Bend -- can now park on campus for free. Parking permits will be still be needed but will be available at no cost to students.

For students taking dual-credit courses in Indiana high schools through the Advance College Project, IU is waiving the $25 per-credit-hour fee. These dual-credit programs provide college courses to high school students, giving them both high school and college credit at the same time.

"By eliminating the per-credit-hour fee for our dual-credit students, we're working to further support Hoosier students by broadening access to this valuable opportunity," Sciame-Giesecke said. "Programs like the Advance College Project allow students to experience college coursework while honing their academic and study skills in preparation for entering a college or university."

Getting a jump-start on college credit

Some Advance College Project credit can count toward the Indiana College Core and Indiana College Core certificate that is now being offered by IU's regional campuses.

The Indiana College Core certificate is available to Indiana high school students who complete 30 hours of coursework across core competencies. While pursuing the educational requirements of the certificate, students will also have additional support from IU, including financial aid education, career development and career exploration. 

Students who complete the certificate will not only have a head start on their general education coursework for college but will also have guaranteed admission to any of IU's regional campuses. And a student who earns the Indiana College Core certificate from one public post-secondary institution in Indiana and later enrolls at another will not be required to complete the Indiana College Core requirements at the second institution.

"The Indiana College Core certificate will enhance the relationships each of the IU regional campuses have with the high schools in their service regions," said Mike Beam, assistant vice president for school partnerships and senior assistant vice provost for undergraduate education. "Our regional campuses will now provide more dual-credit courses as well as advising and career support to enhance high schools' college-going rates." 

Each regional campus, as well as IU Bloomington, has an Indiana College Core coordinator who can provide additional information on the certificate as well as the steps for establishing this opportunity at Indiana high schools. For more information about transferring credits and the Indiana College Core at IUPUI, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

On the path to a career

While some students may benefit from taking general education courses, others may have a specific career interest in mind. IU's regional campuses are working with high schools across the state to develop a variety of career pathways.

The pathways will be co-developed with partner school districts to be responsive to the high schools' needs and those of the region's labor market. The ability to customize these pathways for students is aimed at improving the state's future labor market and building good career and job opportunities for students.

Through these pathways, students can take up to four courses in a specific career interest area. For example, through the Tomorrow's Teachers program at IU Kokomo, high school students take courses taught by IU Kokomo faculty that introduce them to teaching, planning and instruction, and the learning process. Students also participate in field experiences in their school district.

With all of these options as well as the elimination of various fees, Sciame-Giesecke hopes students throughout Indiana will see the value in pursuing their education after high school and take advantage of what IU's regional campuses can offer.

"I hope schools, parents and students will embrace the Indiana College Core certificate, the dual-credit courses and the pathways we're establishing as an opportunity for students to begin their college career while in high school," Sciame-Giesecke said. "These students are the future of our state, and we want to be a part of their journey."

Contact

Amanda Roach

Phone: 812-856-3717

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Email: ajr1@iu.edu

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