Banded tuition, sometimes known as “flat-rate” tuition, is defined as charging a single-tuition rate for enrollment within a specific range of credits. Banded tuition is designed to help students graduate on time (in four years) and reduce the cost of their education.
Effective Fall 2016, undergraduates students enrolled at all Indiana University campuses will pay one rate for their basic tuition when taking between 12 credits and 18 credits. Students who enroll in fewer than 12 hours will continue to pay the per credit hour rate for tuition. Students enrolled in 19 or more credit hours will pay the banded tuition rate up to 18 credit hours plus the per credit tuition rate for each credit over 18. The banded tuition rate will be different for in-state and out-of-state residents.Estimated Tuition Calculator
In an effort to increase the number of students who successfully complete undergraduate degrees and to do so in on-time (4-year) basis, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education passed a resolution in August 2014 that encouraged the state’s public colleges and universities to adopt a banded tuition model. Indiana University committed to working with the commission at that time to set banded tuition rates for IUPUI and IU’s regional campuses by the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.
Students who are enrolled in on-campus degree programs can include online courses in the 12-18 credit tuition band. Students who are enrolled in online degree programs pay for courses by the credit hour and are not eligible to pay the banded tuition rate. For more information concerning online degree programs, you may access the IU Distance Education Fee Policy.
Benefits of Banded Tuition
Advantages for students
- Banded tuition makes the cost of attendance more predictable and understandable.
- Banded tuition helps students and families plan better financially, knowing tuition rates for full-time enrollment in advance.
- By enrolling in 15+ credits a semester, degree maps that outline the four-year path to a degree on a semester-by-semester basis are easier to understand and follow.
Enhanced Academic Flexibility and Faster Time to Degree
- Banded tuition rates allow full-time undergraduate students to take more credit hours each fall and spring semesters and not be charged an additional amount.
- Banded tuition permits students to explore an area of interest by allowing them to enroll in a course without having to worry about the additional cost of the added course.
- Students who take advantage of banded tuition and enroll in 15 or more credits per semester will graduate in four years, which eliminates the additional expenses of a fifth or sixth year of college.
Long-Term Cost Savings
- On time graduation means a reduction in room, board, transportation and other college-related expenses for students and their families, and may also reduce student loan debt.
- On-time graduation will allow students to move into the job market sooner. Earlier entry into the market could result in earning one or two years of additional income over the span of a career.
- Students who accelerate their programs and take more than 15 credit hours each semester have the opportunity to pursue a minor or certificate at no additional cost.
How the Campus Provides Support
- Staff at each campus are prepared to help students determine how to optimize ways to finance their education and keep loan debt under tighter control.
- Additional information is available in the Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is “banded” or flat rate tuition?
Banded or flat rate tuition is defined as charging a single tuition rate for credits within a defined range.
What are the terms of banded tuition?
Beginning in the fall semester 2016, undergraduates will pay the same basic tuition rate for a course load of 12 to 18 credit hours per semester.
Why Is IU moving all campuses to banded tuition?
Banded tuition is a way to help students graduate on time and reduce the cost of their education. Students who take advantage of the band and enroll in 15+ credits per semester will graduate in four years. Tuition charged by the credit hour creates a financial disincentive for students to take more courses in a particular semester. According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, an additional year of college can cost a Hoosier student more than $50,000 in tuition, lost wages and related costs.
When will banded tuition take effect?
Banded tuition at will become effective with the fall 2016 semester.
Is banded tuition a new concept?
No. Several universities in Indiana have established banded tuition including IU-Bloomington, Purdue-West Lafayette, Ball State University and Indiana State University. The Indiana Commission on Higher Education has found that 7 in 10 students at Indiana public institutions that charge banded tuition take 15 credit hours in a semester compared to 2 in 10 at institutions that charge by the credit hour. Evidence nationwide suggests that banded tuition is a promising strategy for increasing student success and on-time completion.
Is banded tuition at all IU campuses a pilot project?
No, this is not a pilot project. Banded tuition will take effect with the fall 2016 semester.
How will banded tuition affect students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours?
Students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours will continue to pay the per credit hour tuition rate as they have in the past.
How will banded tuition apply to students enrolled in more than 18 hours?
Undergraduate students enrolled in 19 or more credit hours will pay the flat tuition rate up to 18 credit hours plus the per credit tuition rate for each credit over 18.
Will banded tuition be available for graduate students?
No. Banded tuition applies to undergraduates only and has been established to help students earn their BA/BS degree in four years.
Will financial aid eligibility be impacted with the implementation of banded tuition?
Financial aid eligibility will likely be the same for students enrolled in 12-18 credit hours; however, individual circumstances can vary. It’s important to know that federal, state and institutional financial aid can be limited beyond the fourth year of college. Recent state of Indiana financial aid changes make it critical that students complete 30 credits each academic year to continue receiving the maximum state scholarship.
Do study abroad credits apply to tuition banding?
The applicability of banded tuition to study abroad will depend on the design of the individual study abroad program. Information on specific programs can be found on the iAbroad website.
What are the benefits of a student taking more than 15 credit hours in a semester?
Taking more than 15 credit hours allows students to accelerate their progress and also offers them the opportunity to pursue a minor or a certificate at no additional cost.
What is the best way to ensure success for students who typically take a 12 credit hour course load but want to increase the number of credits they take per semester?
Students should work with an academic advisor who will help them determine their options.
What if a student isn’t sure he/she can manage more than 12 credit hours per semester?
IU wants all admitted students to be successful and recognizes that a student’s ability to manage his/her academic workload is dependent on a variety of personal circumstances. These include learning style, time management, personal commitment and focus, financial and work burdens, family commitments, etc. IU academic advisors, financial advisors, student employment advisors and others across all campuses can help guide students in making smart decisions about academic load given the student’s personal circumstances.
What if a student takes 15-18 credit hours and begins to struggle with the academic workload?
In consultation with their academic advisors, students can withdraw from some courses before the published deadline. From a financial aid perspective, it is advisable to maintain at least 12 credit hours per semester. Students receiving financial aid should talk to a financial aid advisor if they are considering dropping below 12 credit hours due to the possible negative impact on financial aid.
Does banded tuition apply to summer courses?
No, students taking courses during summer sessions will pay by the credit hour.
Does banded tuition apply to online courses?
Students who are enrolled in on-campus degree programs can include online courses in the 12-18 credit tuition band. Students who are enrolled strictly in online degree programs are not eligible for the banded tuition rate and must pay for courses by the credit hour.
Additional Banded Tuition Details
- Part-time undergraduate students enrolled in 1 to 11 credit hours will be charged tuition on a per credit hour basis. Undergraduate students enrolled in 12 to 18 hours will be charged a flat rate based on the current 15 credit hour rate for tuition. Undergraduate students enrolled in more than 18 credit hours will be charged the banded tuition rate up to 18 hours PLUS a per credit hour rate for any hours over 18.
- Banded tuition rates do not apply to graduate degree programs or professional degree programs.