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Mark Land
Associate vice president, IU Communications

Ryan Piurek
Director, news and media, IU Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New on-time completion award will offer tuition relief to IU students

Oct. 9, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has unveiled a powerful new tool to lower the cost of attending IU, while also providing additional incentive for students to graduate in four years.

State of the University 2012

IU President Michael A. McRobbie delivers his 2012 State of the University address at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Print-Quality Photo

McRobbie used the occasion of his annual State of the University address, given this year on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, to announce that, beginning next year, IU will effectively freeze tuition for students after their sophomore year if they are on track to graduate in four years.

Under the program, qualified students will receive an on-time completion award equal to any increase in tuition and fees that they would otherwise incur during their final two years at IU. Should a qualifying student not graduate in four years, he or she would then pay the current tuition and fee rates for any time at IU beyond their fourth year.

"This award makes two things clear: That we are serious about holding down the cost of an IU degree, and that we are equally serious about providing tools and incentives to help our students stay on course for on-time degree completion," McRobbie said. "We have clearly heard the message from our students and their families that cost matters to them when it comes to pursuing a college degree, but any efforts to keep an IU education affordable also must include efforts to improve on-time graduation rates, which also effectively lowers the cost of earning a degree."

The on-time completion award program will take effect in the fall of 2013 for those juniors and seniors who have reached the relevant course milestones by the end of the spring semester in 2013. The program will be run as a pilot for the next two academic years, with the impact on four-year graduation rates being assessed during the 2015-16 academic year. Additional details of the program will be shared with students in the coming weeks.

The on-time completion award is the second significant initiative launched by IU in the past year to address issues of cost and timely degree attainment. In October 2011, the university announced that it was lowering tuition for all undergraduates attending summer sessions on any IU-managed campus by 25 percent for Indiana resident students and an equivalent dollar amount for nonresident students. That initiative, which will continue this year, saved IU students nearly $12 million and resulted in an increase in summer session attendance this year over the previous year.

"Whether it is making bold moves to strengthen our academic programs to better meet the needs of our students, or creatively addressing issues such as cost and on-time degree completion that matter deeply to many of our stakeholders, Indiana University is committed to demonstrating that quality and affordability are not mutually exclusive when it comes to earning a college degree," McRobbie said. "The on-time completion award program is just the latest indicator of the university's willingness and ability to move quickly to meet the needs of the ever-changing higher education landscape."