Local News Politics

A bipartisan group of Indiana lawmakers says hikes in in-state tuition are making it harder for Hoosiers to attend college.

State Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Espich said he called a hearing on the matter because tuition rates are quickly devouring average Hoosiers’ incomes and outpacing inflation.

He cited figures that show average in-state tuition in 2000 accounted for 12 percent of Hoosiers’ incomes but is expected to jump to 19 percent by 2013.

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie defended the increased tuition and student fees, saying schools are making up for decreased state aid while also trimming spending.

Ball State University President Jo Anne Gora told the panel that tuition and fee increases were not enough to cover a recent $13 million cut in the school’s state appropriation.

But Indianapolis Democrat Bill Crawford said universities should stop putting together what he called “filet mignon budgets” when all they can afford is a hamburger.

(Information for this story came from the Associated Press and the Indianapolis Star)

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."