BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University will stop offering a 25 percent discount on summer tuition at its Bloomington campus but will continue to offer it at its six regional campuses as a way to encourage students to graduate in four years.
The discount program that started in 2012 didn't keep many students on the Bloomington campus, where summer semester enrollment has seen little change, university officials said. Enrollment at the regional campuses, meanwhile, has increased — by 13 percent at the Kokomo campus and 9 percent at the Richmond campus, for example.
IU President Michael McRobbie had said he hoped the discount program would lead to a 10 percent increase in summer enrollment, helping the university make better year-round use of its facilities.
But school officials found that many of the roughly 42,000 students at the Bloomington campus are used to leaving for the summer to take jobs or internships, IU spokesman Mark Land told The Herald-Times.
"In Bloomington, the discount didn't really move the needle," he said.
More students at the regional campuses live in those areas and the discount has been an incentive to take summer classes, Land said.
IU started the discount program after criticism from state legislators and others about college affordability because of growing tuition costs at state universities and the number of students taking more than four years to earn bachelor degrees.
Purdue University announced plans to offer a larger lineup of summer courses and has frozen tuition for the West Lafayette campus at 2012-13 rates.
Indiana University officials are replacing the Bloomington campus tuition discount with an increase in the number of credit hours that can be taken under the flat fee tuition rate. That change, from 17 to 18 hours each fall and spring semester, will start this coming fall semester.
The move will save in-state students $284 per semester, compared with the current cost of taking 18 credits — usually the equivalent of six three-credit hour classes. Six percent of students at IU Bloomington took 18 credit hours or more last semester, while 57 percent took between 15 and 17 credit hours, Land said.
"Bloomington's residential focus differs from that of other campuses," IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel said. "Having access to more classes during the fall and spring semesters enables our students to graduate sooner, while leaving the summers open for overseas study, internships, research and other high-impact practices."