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William Stephan

Last modified: Friday, June 21, 2002

Trustees approve new fee for Fall 2003 incoming students

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Board of Trustees of Indiana University today (June 21) unanimously approved the assessment of a $1,000 fee to incoming undergraduate students at the IU Bloomington campus beginning in the 2003-04 academic year. The new students' fee will be $800 at IUPUI and $500 on the regional campuses. The fee will not be charged to currently enrolled students or to those who will begin their studies at IU this fall.

The fee will be paid, in addition to regular annual tuition, by students entering in the fall of 2003 and by those in each succeeding class until all undergraduates are paying it. Funds raised through the fee will go, in part, toward hiring new faculty and lowering the faculty-student ratios at the Bloomington campus, and hiring more full-time faculty and enhancing retention efforts at IUPUI and the regional campuses.

"This is a difficult but necessary step in our effort to enhance the academic excellence of our institution, to make us a stronger, more competitive university. We must do what we can to guarantee the continued high quality of our faculty and to reinforce the value of a degree from Indiana University," said IU President Myles Brand.

The fee is not intended to backfill for recent reductions in state aid, but instead will raise funds for positive efforts to support critical missions of the university. Brand has asked the chancellors on each IU campus to identify the strategic steps needed to enhance excellence. At IU Bloomington, for example, officials plan to hire an additional 100 faculty members over the next five years by using this new funding. IUPUI will enhance undergraduate education by setting aside more money for faculty resources, for library and other learning resources, and for initiatives that will add to the campus' engagement with its community.

IU officials will also place a priority on maintaining access to the university for all qualified Hoosier students. Some funds raised through the fee will be set aside for increased financial aid on every campus. At the university's largest campus, in Bloomington, about 14 percent of net new funds will be allocated for financial aid, or $3.9 million over the next five years. That represents a 20 percent increase in funds for undergraduate scholarships. This initiative will include matching grants for minority students and others with need-based scholarships, and for honors students.

"We know full well the importance of a college degree. It enhances an individual's life, and increased numbers of college graduates help build a stronger economy in Indiana. We must keep that goal within reach," said Frederick F. Eichhorn Jr., interim president of the Board of Trustees.

Across the nation, many public universities have enacted double-digit tuition increases in response to economic pressures and waning support from state governments. Indiana University long has ranked near the bottom of the Big Ten public institutions in the per-student support it receives from the state; IU also ranks in the lower half of the Big Ten in tuition charged in-state students.

Several Big Ten universities, including Purdue University, Ohio State University and the University of Illinois, have imposed similar fees on new students or are beginning the new assessments this academic year. IU officials said they are acting now to give students who will be coming to IU for the first time in the 2003-04 academic year adequate time to make financial plans.

Renewed efforts will also be made to recruit and retain excellent faculty. "The quality of IU programs is threatened when the university cannot compete with other universities for talented faculty or when top IU faculty are hired away because we cannot offer competitive compensation or other support. While we have made progress on this issue in recent years, we still have more to do," Brand said.

Not only are those faculty members fundamental to the positive educational experiences of students, many of them also perform research that will fuel future economic growth in Indiana, Brand said.

Funds will also be allocated for additional graduate fellowships and assistantships. Recruiting excellent graduate students is vital to the university's academic and research programs. The initiative will enable IU to offer outstanding graduate students fellowships and assistantships that are competitive with other major universities.

More details about the new fee are available at