Martin University to cut tuition by 45% and forgive some loan debt

Indiana’s only predominantly black college has announced an effort to make college more accessible. Martin University will reduce tuition fees by 45% for undergraduates and cancel certain debts held by former students.

President Sean Huddleston said reducing tuition and degree fees is part of an effort to increase social wealth mobility for low-income people and communities of color.

Annual tuition will be reduced to an average of $8,800 for private Indianapolis University undergraduates. Graduate tuition fees will be reduced by 42%. It’s less than tuition at Indiana Public Four Year Old university and college campuses.

“We needed to take bold and intentional steps to make getting a college degree from our university affordable, accessible, achievable, and that the degree earned could be easily applied and give our students immediate access to family careers. . that help build personal and generational wealth,” Huddleston said at an event to announce the initiative.

The average student debt of Indiana students who earned four-year degrees at public and private universities is $28,521, according to Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

The Martin campaign, called Reset to Reemerge, comes as the cost of higher education and student debt are the subject of intense national debate. President Joe Biden said in August he would forgive some federal student debt for about 43 million eligible borrowers.

Huddleston said university officials spent two years determining how they would adjust finances to support students. During this time, the university surveyed prospective students, alumni, employees, employers and community members about the top three barriers to accessing a college degree. Many respondents said higher education is unaffordable, takes too long, and does not always lead to a rewarding and financially rewarding career.

Huddleston said the university reallocated its operating budget and combined departments to provide those funds. For example, the university merged three departments into one division to create the Enrollment Management Division.

During the announcement, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the initiative would help community members who have struggled to find high-paying jobs because of their credentials.

“Over 60% of all jobs today require some form of post-secondary education,” said Hogset. ” It’s just the truth. And that’s in a city where 46% of all residents are a racial or ethnic minority. It is important. This is in a city where 52% of all residents are women.

The university also announced an initiative to forgive up to $10,000 in debt for those who qualify, which officials say could benefit 200 to 300 students who did not complete their degree. Hogsett said a growing and diversifying city must include everyone.

“Our city supports this announcement because we too are committed to a prosperous Indianapolis for all,” Hogsett said. “Because no matter what your zip code, what your parents’ income is, or any other aspect of your background, you should expect to have access to the tools you need to climb the ladder.”

Last August, Martin University used over $600,000 in grants to settle overdue account balances for about two-thirds of its students.

The university’s more than 200 students will also have access to the Martin WORKS program, which provides students with paid internships. The institution piloted the program for two years.

Martin Universitya private institution, was founded in 1977.

Contact WFYI education reporter Elizabeth Gabriel at e[email protected] Follow on Twitter: @_elizabethgabs.

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