Raising tuition is never easy, but it was necessary in the face of declining state financial support for Indiana's public colleges and universities, according to Ball State University President Jo Ann Gora.
Ball State trustees recently approved tuition increases of 3.9 percent for undergraduates and 9.1 percent for graduate students for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Those hikes were necessary as a result of declining state support, Gora said Friday during a visit toSouth Bend.
Indiana has declined in the past decade from being 35th in the nation to 45th in terms of state funding for higher education, Gora said. Meanwhile, campus costs ranging from salaries to utilities to maintenance have continued to rise, which means a greater percentage of the cost is passed on to students' families, she said.
Indiana's Commission for Higher Education had asked the state's colleges to cap tuition increases at 3 percent.
"I really don't believe there was data from the institutions that went into those recommendations," Gora said. The commission's recommendations didn't appear to take into consideration rising campus expenses, she said.
"We are now funded (by the state) at the same level we were in 2002," she said.
Ball State recently completed a major capital fundraising campaign, raising $210 million. About $44 million of that total will go toward student support in the form of scholarships, Gora said.
Ball State recently awarded 55 new Bold scholarships -- four-year, full-ride scholarships -- to incoming students, including four students from north central Indiana.
Ball State's tuition for 2010-2011 was $8,234, the lowest among Mid-American Conference schools, Gora said.