VU reaffirms commitment to ensuring a VU education is affordable to all

VU reaffirms commitment to ensuring a VU education is affordable to all

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June 15, 2023

VINCENNES, Ind. – The Vincennes University Board of Trustees convened on June 14 and approved a biennial budget totaling $375 million. VU officials discussed a myriad of opportunities in store for the erudite student body of VU.

Beginning in the Fall Semester of 2023 and continuing through the Spring Semester of 2024, eligible new and returning students residing on-campus in residence halls will be awarded the Residential Opportunity Scholarships valued at $2,000 for the academic year

Furthermore, VU has expanded its scholarship aid, with nearly 90 percent of first-time, full-time VU students receiving financial assistance through grants, scholarships, or both.

VU extends in-state tuition scholarships to Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan residents. This development offers residents of these states an approximate 50 percent reduction in tuition costs, exemplifying VU’s mission of making high-quality education accessible and affordable to all.

President Dr. Chuck Johnson encourages individuals to invest practically in their own future, underscoring the impact of a college education in today's fast-evolving economic landscape. 

As the President aptly states, "The most prudent investment one can make is an investment in oneself. The acquisition of knowledge expands one's financial horizons. In other words, the more you learn, the more you earn. Remember, you get what you work for, not what you wish for."

VU encourages students to invest in themselves, and in return, the University invests in its students in a multitude of ways. For example, the VU Foundation awarded nearly $2.2 million in scholarship funds from both the University and Foundation sources to incoming and returning VU students for the 2021-22 academic year. VU has long been renowned for its unwavering investment in students through substantial financial, academic, and career support.

One benchmark VU strives to sustain is keeping its in-state tuition below the value of a full Pell Grant, and this budget does that.

Despite a slight tuition increase (3.5 percent) as voted by the Board of Trustees, VU remains Indiana's most affordable residential college. The VU Board of Trustees approved a 3-percent increase for room and board. It’s important to note with the additional scholarship offerings, students will pay less this school year (tuition + housing) than compared to 2019-2020.

Students looking for the best value and lowest cost in higher education in Indiana should look no further than VU.

The wage gap between college graduates and high school graduates is at a record high, according to this report. The return on investment for a college degree is substantial - worth upwards of $800,000 or more in increased earnings over a lifetime. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York concludes that a college degree pays off with a 75 percent premium, or more than $30,000 per year in earnings, compared to those with a high school diploma.

In other Board business, the Trustees honored outgoing Trustee Tim Grove. Dr. Johnson presented Grove with a framed resolution of appreciation, thanking him for his service, dedication, and leadership. Grove has served on the Board since July 2012. Johnson expressed his gratitude and commended Grove on his integrity.

"Tim embodies the spirit of a true educator," Johnson said.

The Trustees also approved a policy granting emeritus status to retired faculty who consistently exemplified VU's mission, vision, and values through exemplary teaching or distinguished service to students, the University, and the local and or larger academic community.

The Trustees heard a report on enrollment projections from Senior Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research Dr. Dale Pietrzak, and Johnson shared with the Board that VU’s enrollment numbers are trending upward at the Vincennes and VU Jasper campuses.

Director of University Events and Special Projects Laura Carie updated the Board about VU summer camps and enrichment programs. According to Carie, pre-college programs and camps are enjoying a 43 percent increase.

Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE) Director Dr. Sarah Alderfer reported about the center’s recent activities, which include a ChatGPT workshop, a Thank-a-Prof initiative, and the addition of Faculty Fellows. She also discussed CAFE’s upcoming plans to build outreach and support across campus for faculty through CAFE To-Go, an active teaching center, enhanced online instructional support, and a department chair boot camp.

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