Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder to testify at U.S. Senate hearing on college affordability

Snyder to present strategies for cost savings and retention initiatives at community colleges


INDIANAPOLIS – Ivy Tech Community College President Thomas J. Snyder will present testimony tomorrow, July 19, at 10 a.m. in Washington, D.C., before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. 


Not only is Snyder representing Ivy Tech during the hearing, titled “Making College Affordability a Priority: Promising Practices and Strategies,” but he will also testify as a founding member of Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC), a coalition of community colleges focused on improving student access and enhancing student success.


As Indiana, as well as other states across the nation, is faced with ever-increasing costs associated with higher education, community colleges play a vital role in increasing affordability and making education and training accessible for the middle class.


Snyder will provide testimony regarding the numerous ways Ivy Tech is keeping college affordable for Indiana residents by consolidating services and creating efficiencies through the Ivy Tech system.  He will also share commentary on how RAMC is working with other community colleges to ensure they have the necessary tools to produce low cost, high quality programs.


“College graduation ceremonies were once a time for celebration.  Today, many students receive their four-year degree with more than $50,000 in debt and job prospects that may not provide a return on investment,” said Snyder.  “For the first time, the middle class in this country is faced with the reality that a residential college experience may no longer be a viable financial option.  Community colleges are a response to this crisis by focusing on maintaining low tuition costs.


“Ivy Tech’s strategic focus on both quality and efficiency has enabled us to respond to a 45 percent increase in enrollment over the last four years with limited additional state funding and modest tuition increases of two to three percent per year,” said Snyder.  “Ivy Tech’s cost per student has dropped in real dollars for the past five years.”


Tomorrow’s testimony will focus not only on the cost savings, but also on redeployment of these savings into retention and completion initiatives.  Several programs will be highlighted, including mandatory first-year advising, the growth of dual credit in high schools, and the dramatic expansion of online programs.


Ivy Tech is currently in the midst of an aggressive marketing campaign to highlight the cost savings of a community college degree.  The campaign has two goals.  The first is to improve Indiana’s college attainment rate, which now ranks well below the national average.  The second is to inform students and families that college debt can be avoided or reduced by starting at a community college.


President Snyder is the second Hoosier to testify this week in Washington, D.C.  Indiana Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers testified today with a report on reducing college costs and student debt.


The testimony of President Snyder will be released tomorrow.  Live broadcast of Snyder’s testimony is also available starting at 10 a.m. on July 19 via webcast at http://edworkforcehouse.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=2.


Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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