The number of out of state students at large Indiana universities, mainly Purdue and Indiana University, are increasing, causing concern for some in the legislature.
Forty-three percent of IU-Bloomington’s freshman class are out of state or international students, and 44 percent of the undergraduate population at Purdue are not Indiana residents.
Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, chairs the Senate Appropriations committee and told the Associated Press of his disappointment in these increases, saying it hurts the mission of state-run universities and could affect funding the legislature allocated for higher education institutions this session.
“I’m concerned,” said Kenley. “Both of those universities, since their inception, were started for the benefit of Indiana [residents] and Indiana students. So we need to be true to those missions.”
IU-Bloomington spokesperson Mark Land says leaders at IU understand these concerns, but says qualified, Indiana residents will not lose a spot at IU-Bloomington to an out of state student. Land says IU-Bloomington is only one campus in the IU system, and has a different mission from the regional campuses in Kokomo, South Bend, New Albany, Gary and Richmond.
“The Bloomington campus is kind of the flagship campus, the research one, and we are trying to be as competitive as possible for good students both in state and out of state,” Land said. “We’re going to continue to do that, but we’re still taking more in state students than out of state students.”
IU-Kokomo chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke says her campus operates under a different mission. While IU-Bloomington is home to research programs and students from all over the world, almost 99 percent of her students are Indiana residents and 80 percent stay in the region after graduating.
She says her campus exists to serve the students and community around Kokomo, with the needs of the community dictating which programs are most popular, including IU-Kokomo’s nursing program.
“We do provide a lot of the nurses in this region,” Sciame-Giesecke says. “So the hospitals in this particular region are dictating to us the kinds of needs they have in healthcare as Obamacare comes into play.”
Land says the IU-Bloomington budget that comes from state funding is around 18 percent, where at IU-Kokomo that number is 44 percent.