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[r29] Column: Never too early to think about college
Start Date: 8/14/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 8/14/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Never too early to think about college

For many high school juniors and seniors, college is on the horizon. Obtaining a postsecondary degree at a two- or four-year college or getting the necessary training to pursue a trade profession is critical in today’s marketplace. It has become a minimum requirement on the job front to have a high school diploma. The process of applying to different schools, securing financial aid and preparing to attend a new institution requires a full commitment. 
 
Knowing all of these things, we are working to make higher education a more appealing option for young Hoosiers by making each step easier to understand and realize. 
 
The affordability of college is always a concern for students and parents. College tuition in Indiana, and throughout the country, has nearly doubled over the past decade, causing some major private lenders to withdraw from the student loan market. This has left students and their families with the burden of paying for this tuition increase on their own. To address this issue, the Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans Corporation was created and is now permitted to become a direct lender of postsecondary education loans for the purpose of attending both Indiana and non-Indiana institutions (Senate Enrolled Act 532). 
 
An Indiana-based student loan program will help improve financial literacy amongst college students and at the same time provide fixed rate loans to Indiana students who may not be able to otherwise fund their education.
 
Higher education should be more accessible to more people. We are putting more tools in place for Hoosiers to be able to obtain a degree or certification, so they can get a job and realize their American dream. An education knows no boundaries and provides limitless potential for those who always seek to learn more. It is paramount for all Hoosiers that we make the higher education process easier to navigate and that funding be available to those who qualify and need it.  
 
Another change we made last session was to simplify how credits are transferred between different higher education institutions (SEA 182). Transferring credits can pose a problem not only from one institution to another but also from a regional campus to a main campus within the same institution. For example, a student taking a course at IU-Kokomo may not be given credit for that course upon transferring to IU-Bloomington. 
 
By creating a common course numbering system within all of our state colleges, we are working to make it easier for students who have completed courses at one college to receive credit at another. This will reduce the amount of time that it takes for some students to complete college as well as save them money. In turn, this will help to improve college completion rates, working towards Indiana’s goal of having 60 percent degree attainment by 2025.
 
Universities have already begun accepting applications for next year’s incoming class, so even if you are a freshman or sophomore in high school right now, it is never too early to start thinking about your future!
 
-30-

My column also appears in the Times of Noblesville.
Contact Information:
Name: Nick Goodwin
Phone: 3178500614
Email: ngoodwin@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Education
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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