Fewer Hoosiers are going to college, Indiana Commission for Higher Learning data shows – WISH-TV Indianapolis News | Indiana weather

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Commission for Higher Education last week launched its Education Value Movement to stem the state’s decline in college enrollment.

In an effort to encourage more Hoosiers to pursue some form of education or training beyond high school, it was created from 18 months of research to understand why people don’t go to college. The campaign is to be rolled out continuously until February.

Commissioner Chris Lowery said there had been efforts in the past to speak more about the value of education, but this particular campaign was a real concerted effort as the commission had seen challenges in college speed ratings from high school along with adults Those who do this could use a certificate beyond high school.

“We did our own research looking at affordability and then people just questioned the value, quality and career relevance. So, ‘Will it help me get the kind of job and career I want?'” Lowery said.

Since 2015, Commission data shows that college enrollment has steadily declined.

In 2020, only 53% of high school seniors enrolled in college. The data also shows that the state’s numbers have fallen behind the national numbers.

The commission monitors the financial aid packages for the state.

Lowery said that higher education has many benefits that he feels aren’t talked about enough. “The economic results, lower unemployment rates with education beyond high school. Whether certificate, associate degree, bachelor degree and beyond. Higher workers attend. Higher Salaries. The premium between Abitur and Bachelor is about 85%. That’s tremendous,” Lowery said. “We are first in the Midwest and fifth in the United States in need-based financial assistance. Which we need to tell people more about, right? because when someone thinks, ‘Gosh, can I afford that?’ but they don’t know that we have financial support available, then we have to do much better than that.”

He said what people often hear about college is the extremes of debt and the horror stories of someone graduating with a quarter million dollars in debt and no job. Lowery said in Indiana, without extreme debt, the results are much better, especially when it comes to state public institutions.

“If you look at how other states in the US have increased their tuition and fees over the past decade, our state is one of the best. In fact, our state institutions are at -4% of tuition and fees adjusted for inflation,” Lowery said.

The commission said if the state continues this decline, future employers will have an even harder time hiring new employees. It would be a domino effect, as corporations could not grow, the state could not attract investors, and even individual Hoosiers would feel the effects of a changing economy.

“Everything is becoming more automated, more digitized, more tech-oriented. In that case, without the right skills, too many people just get left out,” Lowery said.

Knowing that it will take more than just government to persuade youth and adults to go to college, they are calling on business, employers and communities to help communicate the value of higher education.

The movement began with radio, television, and social media ads starring Jerome “The Bus” Bettis. Recently, the former Pittsburgh Steelers star and Detroit native returned to complete his business degree at the University of Notre Dame, where he began nearly three decades earlier. The commission obtained an exclusive interview with Bettis about why completing his post-secondary education was important to him and why he believes it is important to others.

Lowery also said that compared to other states, Indiana’s approach to higher education is also an easier path than some might think.

“If you look at how other states in the US have increased their tuition and fees over the past decade, our state is one of the best. In fact, our state institutions are at -4% of tuition and fees adjusted for inflation,” Lowery said.

On Tuesday, the commission will host an event where representatives from the Indiana 21st Century Scholars Program will speak with students at Brownsburg High School to continue the Education Value Movement’s campaign.

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