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President Obama is challenging colleges to make a commitment to affordability for low income students. (White House Photo)

This past week, the President of the United States laid a challenge at the feet of a group of leaders in the realm of American higher education.

President Obama has once again invited a group of college leaders to a meeting at the White House. But to participate in the confab…attendees must make a new commitment aimed at helping lower-income students – and they have to submit those goals in writing. (Full story at Inside Higher Ed)

Making higher education affordable has become one of President Obama’s top priorities. It is also one of IWU’s top priorities.

Today, the President of IWU submitted his commitment in writing to the low-income students of Indiana who are seeking ways to make college possible:

I am delighted to report that our team has identified a pathway for our highest-need Indiana residents to attend IWU for four years and graduate with no more than $10,000 in student loan debt. 

As we announced to the media this morning, we’re calling this the Hoosier 10K Plan.

This program rests on some simple, sound principles for student success.

More details of the plan are available on the President’s blog.

This recent challenge is a part of a wider effort by the White House. Earlier this month, First Lady Michelle Obama shared the story of her own path to college in a speech to high school sophomores in Washington D.C.

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President Wright has committed IWU to seeking ways to make Christ-centered education affordable to all.

“Some of my teachers straight up told me that I was setting my sights too high,” the First Lady said. “They told me I was never going to get into a school like Princeton.  I still hear that doubt ringing in my head.  So it was clear to me that nobody was going to take my hand and lead me to where I needed to go. Instead, it was going to be up to me to reach my goal.  I would have to chart my own course.”

First Lady Obama’s story parallels that of many students in Indiana. It’s a phenomenon called “undermatching,” in which students choose a college or university that is somewhat less than their ideal choice because they feel their ideal choice is unattainable.

In his announcement today, President Wright declared that IWU’s mission as a Christ-centered university involves making our education attainable for every student who desires it:

IWU was founded on the principle of providing access to anyone who truly wanted to pursue a degree in an openly Christ-centered environment.

We are called not only to offer such an education, but to offer it to as many students as we can. We must find every way possible to make education available to the broadest number of students at a reasonable and accessible cost.

For more on the Hoosier 10K plan, visit IWU’s financial aid page or contact Daniel Solms, Financial Aid director, at (765) 677-2137 to explore the possibilities.