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White House Seeks Input From Ivy Tech’s Snyder

The leader of Indiana’s community college system says he came away from a White House meeting last week optimistic that the Obama Adminstration wants to address the soaring cost of higher education and rising student debt.

Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder was appointed to the Roundtable of Affordability and Productivity in Higher Education. The panel met a week ago with the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Snyder says there was a sense of urgency at the meeting “that college affordability was going to be a barrier to increasing attainment as we re-engineer America.”

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Ivy Tech President To Serve On White House Roundtable

The leader of Indiana’s community college system has been selected by President Obama to serve on the White House Roundtable on Affordability and Productivity in Higher Education.

Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder is among several college presidents appointed to the panel, which will also include Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Snyder says the roundtable will discuss the soaring costs of higher education and how to make college more affordable.

Snyder also took part in last year’s White House Summit on Community Colleges.

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Ivy Tech, JCTC Presidents To Attend White House Summit

Two Hoosiers and two Kentuckians will be attend the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges Tuesday in Washington. The summit will be focused mainly on improving education accessibility and attainment.

Among those invited to the summit are Jefferson Community and Technical College president Tony Newberry, Hopkinsville Community College president James Selbe, Ivy Tech student Michael Rice and Ivy Tech president Tom Snyder.

Snyder says he’s not sure what exactly will be discussed, but he hopes Pell Grant reform will be on the agenda.

“The way the system works with Pell Grant financial aid is the more you charge, the more Pell Grant money your students get,” he says. “Well, because we try to keep our costs low, we tend to disadvantage our own ability to grow because it’s a third-party payer system and we’re the low-cost provider.”

Snyder says he expects to field several questions as well, since Ivy Tech is a statewide system, and community college presidents may be looking for new ways to work with campuses in other counties and states.

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Ivy Tech President, Student Invited To White House Summit

The President of Ivy Tech in Indiana has been invited to a White House summit on community colleges.

Tom Snyder and an Ivy Tech student were invited to speak with other presidents and students, as well as President Barack Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. Snyder says he’s encouraged by the administration’s attention to community colleges because not enough Americans have college degrees or certificates. Snyder says there are three options to remedy the situation.

“Expand the four-year schools that are public and private: that would be very expensive in terms of structure and facilities. Expand the for-profit schools: to me, that would put a huge loan burden on top of students. Or, expand community colleges,” he says.

Snyder says he’s looking forward to discussing changes to Pell Grant awards and new strategies for how community colleges can work across state and county lines. The summit is next Tuesday. Hopkinsville Community College president James Selbe has also been invited.

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Ivy Tech To Hold Hearing On Tuition Hike Proposal

Leaders of Indiana’s community college system will hold a public hearing Thursday on proposed tuition and fee increases for the next two academic years.

Spokesperson Kelly Lucas says after the hearing, Ivy Tech’s Board of Trustees will vote on the plan, under which a student taking 15 credit hours would pay about $80 more per semester in the 2009-2010 school year. The cost would go up slightly the following year.

Lucas says the hearing will be held Thursday morning in Indianapolis, but students don’t have to attend in person to comment on the hikes.

“Individuals are welcome to send in comments via email or written comment to our main office in Indianapolis,” Lucas said.

She says the main reason for the hikes is to hire more full-time faculty and staff for the growing system.

Ivy Tech has 23 campuses throughout the state, including a site in Sellersburg that serves the Louisville area.