Earlham College to be tuition-free for income-eligible Indiana students

Phil Betz, Earlham vice president of enrollment management, talks about INspire Earlham with WECI-FM, the campus radio station.

Think an education at a Top 100 private liberal arts college is out of reach? Think again. As part of its ongoing efforts to widen the path to a four-year college education, Earlham College will offer free tuition to Indiana students whose families are Pell and State of Indiana grant-eligible and earn at or below the state’s median household income.

The INspire Earlham program is for students whose families have a household income of up to $60,000. The average Hoosier household earns about $56,000, according to 2020 Census figures.

“Indiana has experienced an alarming drop in the number of students pursuing post-secondary education in recent years and cost is often a significant barrier in attendance,” Earlham President Anne Houtman said. “With this new program we are doubling down on our commitment to making higher education affordable for Indiana students.”

“Earlham is known for offering one of the nation’s best classroom experiences,” Houtman says. “We attract students from all over the country and around the world, but our roots are in Indiana. This program honors our history and embodies our longstanding commitment to changing the world for good—starting in our own back yard.”

Eligible students must be accepted to Earlham as part of the fall 2022 entering class; file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1, 2022; and apply all state, federal and institutional aid in order to unlock the full benefit of this offer.

FAQ: How it works

“Earlham has always deployed significant financial aid resources to students,” said Kathy Gottschalk, director of financial aid. “What we are doing now is investing further in the success of students and eliminating the need to pay tuition that financial aid hasn’t historically covered.” 

This new tuition guarantee follows an institutional commitment to widening the path to an Earlham education. Two other major initiatives in support of this commitment are the historic launch of a partnership with Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana’s statewide two-year system, and the addition of new scholarships for local students seeking an Earlham education.

Graduates of Ivy Tech who have earned an associate degree in biology, chemistry, computer science, business administration, psychology, or human services can now transfer to Earlham as juniors knowing every credit they have taken will count toward their degree requirements. Earlham is one of the few national liberal arts colleges to partner with a two-year college. These students are also eligible for the INspire Earlham program.

The Heartland Region Scholarship is an $8,000 scholarship over four years that is automatically awarded to anyone living within a 150-mile radius of campus with an offer for admission. The Earlham College Hometown Scholarship is worth $10,000 over four years and is offered to the families of any employee who works for a Wayne County Chamber of Commerce member business or organization.

“These initiatives are all powerful tools for making higher education more affordable and building stronger communities close to home.” Houtman said.

Earlham already has a strong national reputation for affordability and offers up to $37,000 in merit-based scholarships for all students, making tuition comparable to the cost of a public university when combined with other forms of aid. U.S. News & World Report recognized Earlham as one of the nation’s best values earlier this year while The Princeton Review named the College a national leader for classroom experience.

“Since 1847 we have proudly called Richmond, Indiana, home,” said Phil Betz, Earlham’s vice president for enrollment management. “Earlham is a destination for students who are driven to create positive change in the world. We are committed to making this experience more widely accessible for Indiana students and their families.”

Central to the Earlham experience is the EPIC Journey, which connects best-in-class teaching with professional discernment, advising, off-campus study, funded research and internship opportunities and leadership development. The EPIC Advantage offers guaranteed funding of up to $5,000 for every student to participate in an internship, research experience, or community-based project before graduation.

Earlham College’s application for admission in the fall of 2022 is now open. Applications are due March 1, 2022.

For more information about applying to Earlham College, visit earlham.edu/admissions.

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