Indiana’s largest higher learning institution offers free college coursesMay 2, 2022
Ivy Tech Community College will conduct a pair of programs that offer free college courses to any Indiana high school student this summer. At least 3,000 Hoosier high schoolers are expected to enroll.
Crossing the Finish Line program is paid for through federal relief dollars within the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. Additional access to free summer programming for high school students will be paid for by Ivy Tech.
Both programs include free tuition, technology, course fees and books. The average student will save up to $575 per course.
Crossing the Finish Line was created in 2021 in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, according to Rebecca Rahschulte, vice president of K-14 initiatives and statewide partnerships at Ivy Tech.
The purpose was to help high school students who were close to earning a post-secondary credential gain their last few credits. About 1,800 students enrolled, and more than 800 completed their degree or certificate.
This year a similar program will be added, which is open to any high school student in the state. The purpose is to counter the declining trend of high school graduates going on to higher education by broadening exposure to college and career opportunities, officials say.
In 2019, 59% of high school graduates in Indiana went on to some form of higher education. That was down from 61% in 2018. The rate has steadily declined from a high of 65% in 2015.
Raschulte hopes these programs will counter that trend.
“Ivy Tech wants to remove barriers for students to access college programming,” she said.
Ivy Tech is the largest institution of higher learning in Indiana. The college received $313 million from state and local and $264 million from federal grants, contracts and appropriations in 2021.
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