State Rep. Jeff Espich, Chairman of the State Budget Committee, has announced a public hearing on Thursday, Sept. 8 to review the recent tuition increases adopted by Indiana's public universities.
State statute requires the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE) to recommend tuition targets for all public universities within 30 days after the adoption of a new state budget. Once the tuition targets are developed by CHE and actual tuition rates are adopted by the universities, state statute gives the State Budget Committee the authority to call the universities before the committee to review their adopted tuition increases.
Chairman Espich has asked all public university presidents and representatives from their Boards of Trustees to attend Thursday's hearing. Each university will be given a chance to address the committee and explain why they believe that their tuition hikes were justified.
"I have called this hearing because I am concerned about the affordability of higher education in this state," said Chairman Espich. "Public universities must remain affordable for the average citizen. The recent tuition hikes reduce affordability and therefore warrant a serious public discussion."
On average, in-state undergraduate tuition rates at Indiana's public universities have increased by 122 percent since 2000.
The average in-state undergraduate tuition rate equaled less than 12 percent of per capita Hoosier income in 2000, but is expected to equal nearly 19 percent of per capita Hoosier income in 2013.
"This far outpaces the rate of inflation and, most importantly, the growth in Hoosier incomes," said Chairman Espich.
"Each year, our economy requires more college-educated citizens. Yet each year, tuition becomes less affordable. The trend that has taken place over the last 10 to 13 years is unsustainable. If we continue at the current pace, we will one day reach a point where a college education becomes unaffordable for the average Hoosier."
The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Indiana Statehouse in the House Ways and Means Committee room (RM 404). The full schedule is below:
10:00 - 10:30 Commission for Higher Education