Plan to make college tuition affordable for Hoosiers halted by Indiana House Republicans

February 23, 2015 Gregory W. Porter

For immediate release:
Feb. 23, 2015

 

INDIANAPOLIS – A groundbreaking plan to make it more affordable for Hoosiers to attend college was soundly rejected today by Indiana House Republicans, according to State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis).

By voting against an alternative biennial state budget proposal during floor action today, the House supermajority turned down a proposal offered by Porter that would have enabled all new undergraduates to attend a public university at a fixed tuition rate for four consecutive years.

Impacted would have been students attending Ball State, Indiana State, Indiana, Ivy Tech, Purdue, the University of Southern Indiana, and Vincennes.

“What we were striving to accomplish here was very simple: the tuition you pay when you enter a state-supported university or college is the rate you will pay each year if you complete your studies in four consecutive years,” Porter said.

“This proposal strikes to the heart of one of the great problems that face Hoosiers of all ages and income levels,” he continued. “They have a great desire to advance themselves and gain the needed skills so that they can take care of themselves and their families. However, one of the great barriers to that advancement is the continued unpredictable cost of going to college.”

Failure to approve the proposal marks another strike by the House supermajority against House Democratic efforts to assist Indiana’s ailing middle class, but Porter said the failure to approve a tuition freeze hits home for many families.

“Many people across the political spectrum—ranging from President Obama to Governor Pence—have expressed their concerns about the constantly rising cost of higher education,” Porter said. “I know the President has tried to do something with his proposal offering free community college, and I think the possibility of paying a fixed rate for a college education, as long as you complete your work within four years, would help convince people to takes steps needed to advance their careers and better their lives.

“What a shame that we could not get the House supermajority to agree to the idea, which means more uncertainty for more Hoosiers,” he added. “But this is an idea that has to be discussed in the halls of state government, and the discussion needs to take place sooner rather than later.”