On Tuesday, February 8, 2011 a delegation of Marian University students will travel to the Indiana State House to join students from Indiana's independent colleges and universities for a lobbying day.They will tell legislators how vital their state-based financial aid has been, and urge continued funding.
The 2011 legislative session has begun, and on the chopping block this year are millions of dollars in state-funded financial aid for college students. After suffering a 31 percent decrease in the maximum award in the last funding cycle; this year, students and families are facing an additional seven percent reduction in state financial aid. State aid enables many students to chose an independent college or university; many of them faith-based like Marian University. Losing this aid means students lose the ability to chose a teaching and learning environment that's right for them.
Source: State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana
Meet Arthur Spencer, an accounting major and 21st Century Scholar who receives state financial aid. His college experiences have been eye-opening, and he now has a deep appreciation for education, and the 21st Century Scholars Program, which turned the idea of college from a far-fetched dream into a reality.
According to the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI), students on ICI campuses, including those at Marian University, receive four (4) percent of the state's total expenditure of financial aid, yet the independent colleges produce 35 percent of the state's graduates. Indiana legislators should be proud of this high rate of return on their investment of taxpayer revenue. Indiana also gains:
- Higher Graduation Rates
Students at Marian University and Indiana's other independent colleges and universities (ICI schools) are twice as likely to graduate in four years; 59 percent compared with 30 percent at public four-year institutions.
- Savings to Taxpayers
ICI schools produced 13,479 bachelor's degrees in 2008 with an average cost to the state of $6,194 per degree; Indiana's public universities produced 24,986 bachelor's degrees with an average cost to the state of $62,938 per degree.
- Direct Economic Benefit
ICI schools spend $2.1 billion annually and employ over 20,000 people: a total economic impact of $3.8 billion.
Others are encouraged to write or e-mail your state legislator about this. Thank them for letting young adults choose a college or university that best supports their dreams and aspirations, and encourage them to "fund students first."