Ball State University said Tuesday it will offer $500 scholarships to students on track to graduate within four years and take other steps that could save some students as much as $10,000 over the course of their college careers -- making it Indiana's latest state school to respond to legislative calls to reduce student costs.
In addition to the scholarships, the Muncie-based school said it also will reduce the number of credit hours needed to graduate, cut summer tuition by an average of 18 percent and encourage students to take online courses.
Ball State's move follows similar actions taken by other state-supported schools. Indiana University and the University of Southern Indiana both reduced summer tuition, and Indiana State University reduced a planned tuition increase for undergraduate in-state students from 3.5 percent to 1.5 percent.
Legislators have criticized recent tuition increases at state-supported schools, even while cutting their state funding amid the economic downturn and slow recovery. Two decades ago, half of Indiana University's budget came from the state. Now it's at 20 percent, a rate shared by Purdue University. About 33 percent of Ball State's budget comes from the state.