INDIANAPOLIS — In response to the national crisis of escalating tuition costs, Salem International University is exploring innovative ways to make a quality college education more economical for students who might not otherwise be able to afford it or stay enrolled through to graduation.
As part of Salem International University’s “College Affordability Initiative” for 2015 and beyond, the West Virginia-based University has established a special Baccalaureate Affordability Tuition Pricing Plan for Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana’s statewide community college. Utilizing a variety of scholarships and financial aid options, the plan is structured to supply the financial support Ivy Tech graduates need to continue their educations at Salem and complete their bachelor’s degrees with zero debt, or a significantly more manageable student loan.
As Dan Nelant, president of Salem International University, pointed out, the urgency behind the initiative is clear. “Falling college graduation rate is a shared predicament among educators across the United States,” said President Nelant. “Students who drop out without completing their required programs, do not acquire the necessary credentials to enable them to obtain gainful employment. The few who persevere and graduate, more often than not, end up with student loan debt that is difficult to manage.”
By minimizing and even in some cases eliminating student debt, the agreement between Salem and Ivy Tech could allow students to focus on their studies without the financial and emotional stress of a high tuition burden.
“We are pleased to partner with Salem International University to provide yet another pathway to a four-year degree and beyond,” said Dr. Russ Baker, Vice President of the University Transfer Division at Ivy Tech. “By having clearly defined transfer pathways we are creating a seamless transfer process that can save students thousands of dollars in pursuit of their bachelor’s degree.”
As the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, Ivy Tech seemed the ideal candidate for the program, with a high concentration of students struggling to finance their educations.
“Although we have great research institutions in Indiana,” said Vincent O. van Empeh, PhD, Salem’s VP of Business Development, “a majority of our high school and community college graduates miss out on the opportunity to leverage our nationally competitive educational infrastructure. Ivy Tech’s survey data in 2013 showed that nearly 70% of their students held part-time jobs and 30% were in full time employment.”
In addition, Dr. van Empeh pointed out that Salem’s zero student debt plan would make the completion of a bachelor’s degree possible for students of modest means without the constraints of residency requirements, giving them the flexibility to choose where and when they study, whether on campus or online.
“We are proud to partner with Ivy Tech to extend access to a high quality education to those who might fall by the wayside without this program,” Dr. van Empeh concluded. “We’re confident it can make a difference in students’ lives.”
To learn more about Salem’s college affordability/zero student debt plan, call 1-888-511-4748 to speak to a dedicated transfer advisor.
About Salem International University
Established in 1888 as Salem College, Salem International University has a tradition of academic excellence and innovation. The beautiful 100-acre campus is nestled in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. The campus offers student housing and traditional campus clubs and activities. Salem International University offers Associate, Bachelor and Graduate degrees in high demand fields including: Business, Education, Computer Science, Information Technology and Criminal Justice. Salem International University also offers online courses that are the perfect fit for your busy work schedule. For more information, visit http://www.salemu.edu/
About Ivy Tech Community College
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 communities. In addition, its courses and programs transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. For more information, visit http://www.ivytech.edu/