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IU Likely Won’t Change Fees Despite Legislative Prodding

Though Indiana University administrators say even further meetings with state lawmakers are unlikely to result in lower bills for students and parents.

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Though Indiana University administrators plan more talks with state lawmakers asking the school to reconsider its tuition hikes for the coming school year, the meetings are unlikely to result in lower bills for students and parents.

IU was forced to delay sending out letters to parents outlining costs and scholarship allotments until the state legislature passed a budget at the end of its special session in June.  That delay, said spokesman Larry MacIntyre, means there’s little chance of changing thousands of offers.

“Everything for this academic year is pretty much cast in stone,” MacIntyre said. “It would be pretty difficult to change course.”

IU trustees voted to approve a 4.6% increase in fees for the coming academic year, and a 4.8% hike for the 2010-2011 school calendar.  That’s less than the 5% jump in costs Purdue University trustees approved for their student body for each of the next two years.  The Indiana Commission on Higher Education had mandated that all state schools raise costs no more than five percent.  Noblesville State Senator Luke Kenley led Tuesday’s grilling of officials from both schools, but MacIntyre said the Appropriations Committee chairman had different messages for each university.

“He did not specifically ask us — at least I didn’t hear him — ask us to change our decision,” he said.  “I did hear him ask that of Purdue University.”

MacIntyre said he envisions more meetings between Kenley and IU Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald, one of the chief architects of the university’s budget.  MacIntyre said Theobald flew into Indianapolis from a vacation in Massachusetts for Tuesday’s meetings.  Theobald was unavailable for comment Wednesday, MacIntyre said, as he flew back to the east coast Tuesday evening.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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