Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Chris Morisse Vizza / WBAA News

After fewer than six minutes of public discussion Thursday afternoon, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved Purdue University’s plan to merge with online educator Kaplan University.

The ICHE is one of a handful of bodies that has to sign off on the merger before it can officially proceed and the educational offerings of the two institutions may become one.

New data from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education shows students are completing college sooner than in years past. But completion rates for minority students are still behind those of their white classmates.

Overall, 1 in 3 Indiana college students graduates on-time.

A new report from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education says a rising number of people are getting educational certificates from two-year Indiana colleges, which may help fill the state’s open manufacturing jobs.

The CHE report focuses on credit-bearing certificates – the kind college students can earn in less than one or two years, from programs that “commonly have a career or occupational focus.”

In Indiana, CHE found a 32 percent increase in production of these certificates since 2012, mostly from two-year public schools like Ivy Tech Community College.

Dave Herholz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dherholz/

A report out this week finds improvement for the number of Indiana high school graduates ready for college. However, the state Commission for Higher Education says the achievement gap for poor and minority students persists.

The commission's annual Indiana College Readiness report found 82 percent of Hoosier students who enrolled in college in 2014 were prepared for coursework -- an improvement of five percentage points.

Kevin Dooley / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/

Illinois public colleges are strapped for cash, and that could impact higher education in Indiana.

More than halfway into the fiscal year, Illinois Republican governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled legislature are deadlocked over the state budget.

The impasse means that state's 12 public universities and 48 community colleges haven't received one cent of state funding going on nine months.

It's a nerve-wracking time for students who are on the line for tuition because the state isn't paying out money for grants and scholarships.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

PROPERTY TAXES FOR FARMERS

The House and Senate Thursday passed a bill that addresses what supporters call rapidly increasing tax bills for farmers. The bill, now headed to the governor’s desk, changes the way those taxes are calculated.

Indiana’s agricultural land taxes are based on income rather than the underlying value of property. Some say the formula that generates that tax is outdated, and that a string of bad years for crop farmers has amplified the problem.

Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership / https://www.flickr.com/photos/northeastindiana/

The budget which senators will vote on this week singles out two Indiana colleges for an in-depth review.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley‘s budget calls on the Commission for Higher Education to look into Ivy Tech‘s low degree completion rates.

Just four-percent of Ivy Tech students earn their degree on time – and only 28% manage it within six years.

Both figures are the lowest of any state institution in Indiana.

Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

Think about what it might mean to “get ready.”

When you prepare to leave the house in the morning, you might take a shower or pour yourself a cup of coffee. If you’re gearing up for a job interview, you might dry clean your suit or update your resume.

What you do depends on which situation you’re preparing for – which is part of the issue with the phrase “college and career ready.”

FAFSA Deadline Looms

Mar 9, 2015
The Bent Tree / https://www.flickr.com/photos/btreenews/

A reminder to parents and college students, if you haven‘t filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, the deadline is tomorrow.

Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers says not filling out the application means you risk not getting any financial aid.

That includes aid from the federal government, the state, schools, and private entities.

Jirka Matousek / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jirka_matousek/

Leading up to his State of Union address tonight, President Obama announced he wants to make community college tuition free to encourage more people to get education beyond high school.

It’s a goal many people can get behind, but advocates in Indiana are more excited about the national platform for the conversation than the president’s proposal.

High School Education Is ‘Not Enough’

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