Friday, March 25, 2011

Change at My Alma Mater, IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). Undergrads Getting Squeezed.

Last week I received the quarterly alumni magazine from the University where I received my undergraduate degree, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (our most famous alumnus would be Newt Gingrich's lesbian half sister Candice) in 1993 in Psychology.  It included a chart showing how the makeup of the campus has changed in the last decade.  The full chart can be seen in the link below.

Ten Years of Change: IUP by the Numbers

These numbers jumped out at me. Total enrollment is up to 15,126, a 13% increase from 2000.  It was about 12,000 when I was there.  The gender makeup of the campus is the same as 2000, 57% female (I don't know what it was in 1993).  The total number of graduate students increased by 37% while the number of undergrads increased by 9.3%.  The number of degrees awarded for the previous academic year for graduates (masters + doctoral) increased 55% while the number of bachelors degrees awarded decreased by 4%.

In state tuition for undergraduates has increased by 64% to $7,571 over the last decade while it has increased 45% for graduate students to $8,691.  There is a 33% increase in the number of degree programs for undergrads while there is a 53% increase in the number of graduate programs.  In state tuition plus room and board was about $5,000 when I was there.

The number of international students has increased by 44% while the number of minority students increased by 96%.  It doesn't say how many of these are graduate students. 

Enrollment of graduate students increased in each college at IUP while it decreased for undergrads at the Colleges of Education, Fine Arts, and Humanities and Social Sciences.

I'm not saying that there is a conspiracy to weed out undergrads.  It is easier for graduate students to get financial aid for school (increasingly in the form of student loans) than undergrads and to help bring in research dollars.  As a state owned university Governor Corbett's proposed budget promises to make matters even worse for all state owned and related universities while student pursue dreams of a better life at a public option for education. 

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1 comment:

  1. Since CSIwDB's data come from the IUP Public Relations office, they accentuate the positive. For example, while IUP's student population is up 8.9% in the last decade, the number of faculty has decreased by 6.8%, and the number of administrators is up by 21.6%. (These data are from APSCUF, the faculty union.) The consequences for class size are clear. What all these extra administrators are doing is probably best left to the imagination.

    While a 64% tuition increase over the decade may seem modest by contemporary standards, the larger increase has been in room and board. When the old dorms were demolished in 2007 and 2008 and replaced by privately-owned suites, room fees approximately doubled. Within a week, students were demonstrating how poorly constructed these new buildings were by punching holes in the walls with their fists. This fee increase also allowed the downtown slumlords to raise their rents without making any improvements.

    Finally, IUP's future is likely to be discontinuous with its past. Governor Corbett has proposed in his budget that funding to the SSHE system be cut by 50%, reducing the state's contribution from 30% to 15% of the operating budget. If this proposal is accepted, it is likely to start a long spiral of tuition increases, enrollment drops, faculty layoffs, etc.