Officials at both private and public universities in Indiana have said the rising cost of health care is a major factor in driving up the price they charge for tuition. Indiana State University President Daniel Bradley said health care costs dictate a large part of his university's budget.
"We've budgeted a 10% percent increase this year and a 10% increase next year," Bradley said. "That comes down to about the equivalent of a 2.5% salary increase. So basically, our employees have given up about 5% of their paycheck over the next 2 years because of health insurance costs."
Even though DePauw University is a private institution, President Brian Casey echoes Bradley's concerns.
"The scale of our enterprises are so different but we have almost the exact same model," Casey said. "We are assuming 10% increases in health care costs and we're trying to find out contingencies, can we set aside funds? It is directly impacting our capacity to increase salaries and I don't know how to break that particular pattern."
Casey said health care is an unpredictable variable that makes managing university costs difficult. Both Bradley and Casey made their comments on WFIU's Noon Edition. The ballooning cost of higher education was brought back into the public debate earlier this month when State Budget Committee Chairman Luke Kenley threatened to stall building projects on the campuses of Indiana and Purdue Universities in order to force officials to scale back tuition increases.