Indiana’s commissioner for higher education went before a U.S. Senate committee today, to stress the importance of funding higher education and explain the state’s plan to boost college degree attainment.
The Commission for Higher Education, which oversees Indiana’s public universities, came out with a plan to tie a greater portion of state funding to a college’s academic performance in 2011. This performance funding formula is designed to give schools specific targets that fit the state’s policy goals.
Indiana Public Radio reports that the testimony was part of a two-hour hearing where senators heard from education leaders on state funding for education, loan repayment and college affordability:
In her testimony, Teresa Lubbers stressed the value of Indiana’s performance-based appropriations for state colleges.
“It’s important to pay for what you value,” she said. “In Indiana, we value more degrees, more students graduating on time, more at-risk students graduating, more high-impact degrees.
Lubbers says costs are escalating unnecessarily as students take more than four years to complete their degree. She says the Indiana commission is now working with state colleges and universities on a campaign to urge students to take at least 15 credits per semester.
“Indiana State University now alerts students who are falling short of meeting the state’s new credit completion requirements—offering them free summer tuition and discounted housing so they can catch up,” Lubbers said.
Early last year, Lubbers committed to increase the number of Hoosiers with education beyond high school to 60 percent of the state’s adult population by the year 2025.
Roughly one-third of Hoosiers hold a two- or four-year college degree. The National Center for Education Statistics’ estimates show that between associates, bachelor’s, master’s degrees and doctorates, U.S. colleges will graduate roughly 681,000 more credential-holders in 2022 than they did in 2009.