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What is banded tuition?

Banded tuition is defined as charging a single-tuition amount for credits within a defined range. Banded tuition is designed to help undergraduate students graduate in four years and minimize education-related debt.

Effective Fall 2016, full-time undergraduate students enrolled in on-campus degree programs and all non-degree undergraduate students at IUPUI pay the same amount for their basic tuition when taking between 12 credits and 18 credits, rather than pay a per-credit rate. Students taking fewer than 12 credits in a semester pay the per-credit rate, and students enrolled in 19 or more credit hours pay the banded tuition rate up to 18 credit hours plus the per-credit tuition rate for each credit over 18. The banded tuition rate is different for in-state and out-of-state residents.

Banded tuition is sometimes known as “flat rate” tuition and was already in place at a number of institutions statewide, including IU-Bloomington, Purdue-West Lafayette, Ball State, and Indiana State University.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has found that seven in 10 students at Indiana public institutions that charge banded tuition take 15 credit hours in a semester compared to two in 10 at institutions that charge by the credit hour. Evidence nationwide suggests that banded tuition is a promising strategy for increasing student success and on-time completion.

Students who are enrolled in on-campus degree programs can include online courses in the 12-18 credit tuition band. Students who are enrolled in online degree programs pay for courses by the credit hour and are not eligible to pay the banded tuition rate. Please review the policy for more information.

Advantages for students

  • More Predictable Planning
    • Banded tuition makes the cost of attendance more predictable and understandable.
    • Banded tuition helps students and families plan better financially, knowing tuition rates for full-time enrollment in advance.
    • By enrolling in 15+ credits a semester, degree maps, that outline the four-year path to a degree on a semester-by-semester basis, are easier to understand and follow.
  • Enhanced Academic Flexibility and Faster Time to Degree
    • Banded tuition rate allows full-time undergraduate students to take more course hours each fall and spring semesters and not be charged an additional amount.
    • Banded tuition permits students to explore an area of interest by allowing them to enroll in a course without having to worry about the additional cost of the added course.
    • Students who take advantage of banded tuition and enroll in 15 or more credits per semester will graduate in four years, which eliminates the additional expenses of a 5th or 6th year of college.
  • Long-Term Cost Savings
    • On time graduation means a reduction in room, board, transportation and/or other college-related expenses for students and their families, and may also reduce student loan debt.
    • On-time graduation will allow students to move into the job market sooner. Earlier entry into the market could result in earning one or two years of additional income over the span of a career.
    • Students who accelerate their programs and take more than 15 credit hours each semester have the opportunity to pursue a minor or certificate at no additional cost.
  • How the Campus Provides Support
    • IUPUI Student Financial Services (financial aid) staff members are prepared to help students determine how to optimize ways to finance their education and keep loan debt under control.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “banded” or flat rate tuition?
Banded or flat rate tuition is defined as charging a single tuition rate for credits within a defined range.
What are the terms of IUPUI’s banded tuition?
Beginning in the fall semester 2016, all IUPUI and IUPUC undergraduates will pay the same basic tuition rate for a course load of 12 to 18 credit hours per semester.
What is IUPUI’s banded tuition rate?
Students who are classified as eligible for in-state tuition pay a flat tuition rate of $4,127.50 per semester. Out-of-state students will pay $14,363.70. Students eligible for in-state tuition who take less than 12 credits pay $275.17 per credit hour. Out-of-state students pay $957.58 per credit hour.
Are mandatory fees and other course fees included in banded tuition?
No, the banded rate is for tuition only and does not include mandatory fees, program fees or fees assessed for specific courses, e.g., laboratory fees, material fees, etc.
How are program fees assessed under banded tuition?
The banded rate does not include program fees, but beginning in the fall semester 2016, undergraduate program fees are assessed at the rates shown below:
Undergraduate Program Fees per credit hour
up to maximum
Business $39.97 $599.55
Herron Art & Design $28.21 $338.52
Engineering & Tech $46.40 $696.00
Nursing $90.60 $1,359.00
Science $9.83 $147.45
Social Work $3.83 $57.45
Why did IUPUI move to banded tuition?
Banded tuition is a way to help students graduate on time and reduce the cost of their education. Students who take advantage of the band and enroll in 15+ credits per semester will graduate in four years. Tuition charged by the credit hour creates a financial disincentive for students to take more courses in a particular semester. According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, an additional year of college can cost a Hoosier student more than $50,000 in tuition, lost wages and related costs.
When did banded tuition take effect?
Banded tuition at IUPUI and IUPUC begin in the fall 2016 semester.
Is banded tuition a new concept?
No. Several universities in Indiana have established banded tuition including IU-Bloomington, Purdue-West Lafayette, Ball State University and Indiana State University. The Indiana Commission on Higher Education has found that seven in 10 students at Indiana public institutions that charge banded tuition take 15 credit hours in a semester compared to two in 10 at institutions that charge by the credit hour. Evidence nationwide suggests that banded tuition is a promising strategy for increasing student success and on-time completion.
Is banded tuition at IUPUI and IUPUC a pilot project?
No, this is not a pilot project. Banded tuition took effect with the fall 2016 semester.
How does banded tuition affect students enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours?
Students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours continue to pay the per credit hour tuition rate as they have in the past.
How does banded tuition apply to students enrolled in more than 18 hours?
Undergraduate students enrolled in 19 or more credit hours pay the flat tuition rate up to 18 credit hours plus the per credit tuition rate for each credit over 18.
Is banded tuition be available for graduate students?
No. Banded tuition applies to undergraduates only and has been established to help students earn their BA/BS degree in four years.
Is financial aid eligibility impacted with the implementation of banded tuition?
Financial aid eligibility is the same for students enrolled in 12-18 credit hours; however, individual circumstances can vary. It’s important to know that federal, state and institutional financial aid can be limited beyond the fourth year of college. Recent state of Indiana financial aid changes make it critical that students complete 30 credits each academic year to continue receiving the maximum state scholarship.
Do study abroad credits apply to tuition banding?
The applicability of banded tuition to study abroad depends on design of the study abroad program. Information for specific programs can be found on the iAbroad website.
What are the benefits of a student taking more than 15 credit hours in a semester?
Taking more than 15 credit hours allows students to accelerate their progress and also offers them the opportunity to pursue a minor or a certificate at no additional cost up to 18 hours.
How many IUPUI students complete an undergraduate degree in four years?
When branded tuition was implemented in the fall 2016, fewer than 30 percent of IUPUI students finished a 120-credit undergraduate degree in four years.
What is the best way to ensure success for students who typically take a 12 credit hour course load but want to increase the number of credits they take per semester?
Students should work with an academic advisor who will help them determine their options.
What if a student isn’t sure he/she can manage more than 12 credit hours per semester?
IUPUI and IUPUC wants all admitted students to be successful and recognizes that a student’s ability to manage his/her academic workload is dependent on a variety of personal circumstances. These include learning style, time management, personal commitment and focus, financial and work burdens, family commitments, etc. IUPUI and IUPUC academic advisors, financial advisors, student employment advisors and others across campus can help guide students in making smart decisions about academic load given the student’s personal circumstances.
What if a student takes 15-18 credit hours and begins to struggle with the academic workload?
In consultation with their academic advisors, students can withdraw from some courses before the published deadline. From a financial aid perspective, it is advisable to maintain at least 12 credit hours per semester. Students receiving financial aid should talk to a financial aid advisor if they are considering dropping below 12 credit hours due to the possible negative impact on financial aid.
Does banded tuition apply to summer courses?
No, students taking courses during summer sessions pay by the credit hour.
Does banded tuition apply to online courses?
Students who are enrolled in on-campus degree programs can include online courses in the 12-18 credit tuition band. Students who are enrolled strictly in online degree programs are not eligible for the banded tuition rate and must pay for courses by the credit hour.
What if a student is enrolled at multiple campuses?
For tuition purposes, a student’s total credit hours of enrollment is calculated at the individual campus through which the enrollment is processed. Hours for registrations processed at separate campuses cannot be combined to qualify for the banded rate.
IU OCC Exception: Enrollment in online courses taught by other campuses through IU Online Course Connect (OCC) is processed by the student’s home campus. Thus, they are included in qualifying for the banded rate.
How does banded tuition affect students enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours?
Banded tuition does not have an impact on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Calculations. The amount of tuition paid is not a factor in SAP calculations. However, a student’s completion rate is a factor. You can find the required completion rate for your campus on your financial aid office’s website. The completion percentage component is calculated by dividing the number of hours completed by the number of hours attempted. A student that enrolls in 15 hours and successfully completes 12 hours has an 80% completion rate.
Does banded tuition have an impact on satisfactory academic progress calculations?
Financial aid eligibility is the same for students enrolled in 12-18 credit hours; however, individual circumstances can vary. It is important to know that federal, state and institutional financial aid can be limited beyond the fourth year of college. Some Indiana state aid programs require completion of 30 credits each academic year.

Additional Banded Tuition Details

  • Part-time undergraduate students enrolled in 1 to 11 credit hours is charged tuition on a per credit hour basis. Undergraduate students enrolled in 12 to 18 hours are charged a flat rate based on the current 15 credit hour rate for tuition. Undergraduate students enrolled in more than 18 credit hours are charged the banded tuition rate up to 18 hours PLUS a per credit hour rate for any hours over 18.
  • Banded tuition rates do not apply to graduate degree programs or professional degree programs.

For a detailed listing of all tuition and fee rates on the IUPUI and IUPUC campuses, you may access the Master Fee List on this website.

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