2021-22 tuition increase to help pay for new student recreation center, other needs for UIndy

by Noah Crenshaw | Editor-in-Chief

Tuition at the University of Indianapolis will increase once again for the 2021-22 academic year, following approval by the Board of Trustees, according to University President Robert Manuel. Full-time undergraduate tuition will increase to $31,972 annually, an $1,084 increase from 2020-21.

The standard room and board rate will also increase by $240 to $5,896 annually, and the cost of the 14 meal plan will increase by $188 to $5,504, according to Manuel. University fees will increase by $416 to $1,548 annually. 

Manuel said that the increases for next year include a number of enhancements for students and that UIndy would continue to be a low cost option for students. The increases are needed because the university wanted to improve campus facilities, provide resources to update educational technology, increase student services, manage the rising cost of utilities, and to attract and retain the highest quality faculty and staff, according to Manuel. 

What the tuition and room and board increases will pay for:

  • Improving technology capabilities for UIndy’s network and classes
  • Enhancing academic programs
  • Creating a new student recreation center in Schwitzer Student Center
  • Increasing funds for student activities
  • Expanding student health care and counseling services
  • Addressing mechanical and HVAC costs
  • Updating residence halls and university buildings
  • Increasing security measures

The new student recreation center will take over the space that UIndy IT currently occupies on the second floor of Schwitzer Student Center, according to Manuel. The space will be converted into a larger, state-of-the art recreation center for health and wellness programming, in partnership with Community Health Network, according to Manuel. Community Health will be helping with the programming and the creation of the physical space.

According to Vice President for Student and Campus Affairs and Dean of Students Kory Vitangeli, this initiative was the result of Student Life Reviews UIndy conducted. For a couple of years, the university worked with the campus community to identify initiatives that they wanted to see, Vitangeli said. 

“One of the main bullet [points] to come out of that Student Life Review was an updated health and wellness facility,” Vitangeli said. “This is meeting one of the goals that came out of that Student Life Review, but will allow … for faculty, staff and students to have expanded [health and wellness] classes.”

Over the past few years, UIndy has been expanding its ability for exercise classes for faculty, staff and students, and this expansion will provide more space for those classes, according to Vitangeli. UIndy has a workout space in the basement of Ruth Lilly Fitness Center and has been upgrading it over the years, but it does not provide adequate space, Vitangeli said. 

“It allows for expanded continuity of  health and wellness initiatives for faculty, staff and students, so we’re excited about the opportunities that it brings,” Vitangeli said. “Then to tie into some of the work that Kinesiology is doing, that the Be Well program for faculty and staff are doing, and that Campus Rec and intramurals are doing for students, to really tie everything together so that there are campus-wide initiatives.”

The increases will also pay for increased security measures on campus, including adding more cameras and lighting on-campus, according to Manuel. This year, the university worked with its partners at University Lofts and College Crossing to add cameras in those buildings’ parking lots, Vitangeli said. Greyhound Village also added cameras to its parking lots in October.

Additionally, Vitangeli said that the hope is that UIndy will also be able to add more cameras to other parking lots and other needed places. The university also hopes to add more ID card access to buildings that do not currently have card access.

“Every year, we [UIndy] try to identify places [where] we’d like to see that happen,” Vitangeli said. “The goal would be to just continue to increase and improve both the card access and the cameras around campus.”

The university has always tried to be good stewards of students’ tuition, Manuel said. UIndy has kept their tuition low compared to other universities in Indiana, according to Manuel. Among the 31 colleges and universities that are a part of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, UIndy is the eleventh lowest for combined tuition, room and board for 2019-20, according to data from the ICI 2019-20 guidebook.

The university has a commitment through fundraising and endowed dollars to talk to people about how to afford an education at UIndy, especially if it causes financial hardship for students, according to Manuel. In addition to the increases in cost, the university has also increased the amount of money available for financial aid, Manuel said. 

UIndy is encouraging students to file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, by April 15, 2021, in order to be considered for federal, state and institutional grants, along with other forms of financial aid, according to Manuel. Students are also encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@uindy.edu, or at (317) 788-3217.

The university is also encouraging students to use the new Student Solution Center if they have any questions. According to Manuel, the center is a new concierge service that is designed to assist students with any questions they may have about their enrollment at UIndy. Manuel said that Center for Advising & Student Achievement Assistant Director Sunni Manges, who is currently running the solution center, is there to problem solve and help students with financial issues.

“Sunni [Manges] and her group are there to answer any questions about how to connect to access for financial concern[s],” Manuel said.

Students can fill out a Student Request Form or email Manges at smanges@uindy.edu to reach the Student Solution Center.

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