Ball Bearings Magazine Volume 7 | Issue 2

Page 1


Students continue to pay more for a college education, but know less about the financing of their university. p. 24 The Cost of a President p. 12

The Truth Behind the Trustees p. 36

Funding the Full Ride p. 40



COVER STORY PAGES 24-35 photo illustration: matt roembke

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR p. 2 Letter from the editor, Miranda Carney

TRENDING TOPICS p. 3 Briefs on issues currently in the news

MAYOR OF A COLLEGE TOWN p. 6 Muncie’s mayor discusses Ball State’s impact

THE VALUE OF A COLLEGE DEGREE p. 7 Why college is still worth the investment

WORKING FOR A DIPLOMA p. 8 Students must work to afford college

FEATURES THE COST OF A PRESIDENT p. 12 The financial impact of Ferguson’s resignation

A HIDDEN HOME p. 17 An estimated 58,000 college students are homeless

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE TRUSTEES p. 36 Students express concern about the Board of Trustees

FUNDING THE FULL RIDE p. 40 A breakdown of Ball State’s scholarship money

DISTRIBUTING DOLLARS p. 10 Presidents, coaches make more than other employees

THE TEXTBOOK TRADE-OFF p. 43 Students look for alternatives as textbook prices rise

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SWIPE p. 44 Room and board money is used to fund renovations

CALCULATING THE COST OF COLLEGE p. 46 A summary of costs at Ball State

OUT OF COLLEGE, OUT OF MONEY p. 48 College debt remains a concern to graduates





n less than a month, I will join the most indebted group of college graduates in history. The average debt of a Ball State University graduate is $27,627 and 72 percent of us will graduate with debt. When USA Today’s Rock the Vote poll came out in early 2016, it revealed that the second most important issue to Millennials in the upcoming election is student debt. This is reflective of an issue not just at Ball State but across the nation. As prices rise, we believe students deserve transparency about how their university is financed and how their tuition money is spent. The amount of funding contributed by states to public colleges and universities has decreased by several thousand dollars per student in the last few decades. Indiana colleges receive more funding through student tuition than any other source. It’s our money. And it matters. In our newest issue of Ball Bearings, I invite you to take a look at the cost of education at Ball State and across the country. Our cover story breaks down where our tuition money goes, and how different departments are funded (“Our Money, Their Secrets.”) In U.S. universities, thousands more administrators are being hired, but only three percent more students are graduating. After former President Paul Ferguson’s resignation, some students spoke out about the financial impact. Not only do students deserve to know where their money goes, but they deserve to know how much money a new university president costs (“The Cost of a New President.”) These costs impact students differently. High tuition costs leave some students unable to afford a place to live. An estimated 58,000 college students are homeless throughout the country, and some of those students go to classes here at Ball State (“A Hidden Home.”) While these students are sleeping on couches or in cars, other students receive fullride scholarships that not only pay for tuition, but for the cost of living as well (“Funding the Full Ride.”) For low-income, minority, and non-

traditional students, the cost of college can be even greater. At the same time, more Hispanics and African Americans are enrolling in college, but the Miranda Carney graduation rate Editor-in-Chief is much smaller. In 2012, only @Miranda_Carney nine percent of Hispanics and African Americans received their bachelor’s degree, according to Pew Research. And while half of the people in high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, just one in 10 people in low-income families do, according to a report by the White House. Online, we have created a conversation about the cost of college. We have covered everything from the impact of a university on a college town like Muncie, to the cost of international students. Almost five months ago, a team of writers started investigating the cost of our education. We found that there were more difficulties getting information than we expected. Many of the documents we requested took months to process and many times we were told conflicting information. Through many conversations and months of research, we ultimately wanted to answer one question on the minds of young people today. Is college worth it? Despite the rising price of tuition, college graduates will still earn around $30,000 more a year than high school graduates who did not go to college. I invite you to read these stories. Find out where your tuition money goes. Find out what happens financially at Ball State and at other universities across the country. It’s our money. And it matters.

MIRANDA CARNEY editor-in-chief

INSTAGRAM: @ballbearingsmag TWITTER: @ballbearings




SENIOR EDITORS Ben Beckley Lauren Donahue Jeremy Ervin Alex Kincaid Sara Niccum Michele Whitehair STAFF WRITERS Caleb Conley Katie Grieze Carli Scalf Samantha Stevenson


PHOTO EDITOR Maggie Kenworthy INSTAGRAM EDITOR Jessika Zachary PHOTOGRAPHERS Reagan Allen Rachel Brammer Josh Harshman Sabrina Schnetzer


CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ashley Downing LEAD DESIGNERS Hannah Dominiak Jessica Goldy DESIGNERS Megan Axsom Tyson Bird Rachel Brammer Mari Cruz Jennifer Firoved Stacie Kammerling Betsy Kiel Hannah Patton Tiffany Watt Alex White Liz Young


COPY CHIEF Miller Kern RESEARCH EDITOR Jessica Pettengill COPY EDITORS Vanessa Ford Taylor Hohn Payton Kaufman Taylor Meyers Kate Smith ADVISER Brad King

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Trending Topics The cost of college is a talking point in the news. From student debt to the 2016 election, here is the current state of issues related to the price of higher education.

NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENTS story: vanessa ford | photo: rachel ellis


lix Triplett sits in a classroom inside the Art and Journalism building waiting for her night class to start. From the back of the room, she hears her son laugh and notices she isn’t the only one looking back at him. He’s only five years old, and she knew he wasn’t going to be quiet the entire time, but she didn’t think it would be a problem. She had emailed her professor before class to make sure it was okay to bring him, explaining that she wasn’t able to get a babysitter. After that night, she decided to ask her mom to watch him on those nights instead. Attending college later in life than the traditional student is not always easy. Like Alix, many non-traditional students face outside problems. According to a study by Public Agenda and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, some of the most common reasons students have problems completing college involve family, finances, and lack of flexibility. Unlike Alix, sometimes these issues prompt students to drop out. Indiana legislators are trying to address these problems with the Return and Complete project, which was established by the General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session, according to House Bill 1262. The project aims to help the state’s approximate 737,000 college dropouts return


to finish their degree by reaching out to them and providing information on how they can move forward, in spite of past experiences. The information sent to eligible Indiana residents includes personalized data about how many credits they earned, statistics regarding the benefits of a college degree, available financial assistance, and information about adultoriented programs that are more flexible, according to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. This information was to be sent out by January 1, 2016. One of the ways the Commission meets their goals is by enlisting the help of institutions in Indiana. They sent out lists of eligible students in the area so that individual colleges and universities can personally reach out to their former students. Ball State is one of the universities that has been involved with the project, expanding the already established Back to Ball State program in order to help former students return based on the Commission’s objectives. The Commission’s goal is to have 200,000 Indiana residents complete their education by May 15, 2020, and it is working on creating financial incentives to be given to those who manage to do so.

3 million






students enroll in college each year

of returning students drop out again

the age of most nontraditional students

of students drop out after their first year

of drop-outs had no help with tuition from parents

reason why students drop out is finances



LOW-INCOME story: kate smith

Despite the increase in tuition, there has not been an increase in wages since 2009 when the minimum wage increased to $7.25 an hour. Minimum wage, which most students earn at current jobs, is only above poverty level if the student works full-time all year round. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost half of workers who made the federal minimum wage were 16-24 years old. Students are not earning enough money at their jobs to pay for school and are in need of loans to pay for college. A 2015 report by Mark Kantrowitz showed that the average college graduate will have debt up to $35,000. The price increase prevents some students from graduating because overwhelming

MINORITIES story: maggie west

More Hispanics and African Americans are enrolling in college, but the graduation rate is much smaller. The percentage of Africans Americans enrolling in college is only 14 percent compared to the 58 percent of white people, according to a Pew Research Center study. This study also found that in 2012, only 18 percent of Hispanics and African Americans received their bachelor’s degree. There are multiple reasons for this racial gap. Affirmative Action, cuts in public funding for public colleges, and even lack of resources within the community, such as college readiness, financial aid, and proper


4 •

student debt leads them to drop out. There is great disparity between the graduation rates of students who come from different income levels. The Independent Council of Colleges reported in 2009 that only 24 percent of students from low-income homes graduated within four years. A National Student Clearinghouse study starting in 2006 tracked college graduation rates. Within six years, only 60.5 percent of students at public institutions graduated. Even students who enroll in two-year institutions to earn an associate’s degree have trouble graduating. Only five percent graduate in two years. This information is collected as a measure

of success by students who receive Pell grants, meaning their family income is $120,000 or less. According to an analysis by the Hechinger Report, this information isn’t always right. The report said that while colleges are required by law to disclose this information to those who ask, they are not required to give it to the government. The inability to graduate can greatly affect lifetime earnings. When students from lowincome level homes drop out of school due to financial trouble, they work jobs with lower salaries. This creates a cycle that is difficult to escape from, as their children may face the same obstacles as the cost of college continues to rise.

influence all come into play. Young Invincibles is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to amplify the voices of young Americans and expand opportunities. It engages in education, policy analysis, and advocacy around the issues that matter most to this demographic. Over the past three years, the organization released 50 state report cards as a part of their Student Impact Project. The report cards provide guidance and context for students, advocates, policymakers, and the media to better understand how states compare in regards to supporting public higher education. According to their report, three-quarters of all American students attend public institutions, and the budget and policy

decisions made by state and local policymakers drive the access, affordability, and value of our higher education system. The annual state cards showed racial inequality within eighteen states. The study shows how each state makes higher education accessible for all students. It factors in the financial burden of families, funding of need-based financial aid, and the rise in tuition. The study says that the state awards $890 in grants per student, and almost all of them are considered need based. In order for the gap to narrow, the report says state and federal governments will need to make policies and increase the budget to support students, especially those who don’t have resources available to them.


of minumum wage workers are between the ages of 16 and 24


of African Americans enroll in college


of students from low-income homes graduate in four years


of Hispanics and African Americans receive a bachelor's degree

BY THE NUMBERS 128% how much tuition has risen in the past 20 years

37 million

Americans that have college loan debt

70% of Bachelor's degree recipients hold student debt after graduating


amount states have cut funding per student since the recession

STUDENT DEBT story: breanna heath

In 2011, the average college graduate took on 26,000 dollars in debt upon graduation. The amount of college debt in the United States has more than tripled in the past ten years, from $400 billion in 2005 to now more than $1.1 trillion, according to Fastweb. Over the last 20 years, tuition has risen over 128 percent for four-year public schools and 69 percent for private nonprofit schools. In the same period, government aid, including grants and loans, has more than tripled. Of the $1.36 trillion dollars in student debt nationwide, almost $1.2 trillion is from government loans. This dramatic inflation is occurring because state funding per full-time equivalent student declined from $10,110 in 2000 to $6,960 in 2012, according to the Trends in College Pricing report by The College Board. It rose to $7,540 in 2014. When the recession hit in 2008, public funding for colleges and universities decreased by 14.6 percent. In every year from 2001 to 2011, at least a

$2,726.27 how much the outstanding balance of student loans grows every second

$1.2 trillion total outstanding student debt

$35,051 average student debt for the class of 2015


of 2014 Ball State students graduated with debt

third of states experienced funding cuts and in more than half of those years, two-thirds of states did. Real net average tuition at state universities, which is the price after grants are deducted, rose 33.1 percent (from $3,415 to $4,546). In comparison, average net tuition at private institutions has risen 21.2 percent during the same period. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, federal funding, such as Pell Grants is often blamed for driving up college costs. When low-income and middle-income students receive federal grants to attend college, it is believed that the institutions simply raise their prices to reflect this aid. Each year, students can apply for federal student aid. Many receive a small grant but are still left with thousands of dollars in loan debt they will have to pay off within a specific time frame after graduation. Many students are also experiencing slower graduation times. Most colleges charge students per credit hour. When students can't afford the cost of a full course load, they may choose to take fewer classes, which can dramatically delay the expected time of their graduation.

ELECTION story: taylor hohn

The issue of student debt in the United States rose to the surface when Democratic candidate Senator Bernie Sanders entered the 2016 presidential election. Nearly 70 percent of Bachelor’s degree recipients hold student debt, totalling to over $1.2 trillion. Although rising tuition costs and student loans have long been a troubling matter, Senator Sanders’ proposed solution pushed it to become a main point of discussion among the presidential candidates. Senator Sanders’ College For All Act, officially announced in May of 2015, plans to eliminate tuition at public four-year colleges and universities. The bill would require the federal government to cover 67 percent of the costs, while the state would meet the other 33 percent. The money provided by the federal government would come from both taxpayers and new taxes on Wall Street. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton followed suit with her own plan, the New College Compact. This would make community college free and student loans more affordable, by limiting the amount of deductions wealthy taxpayers can take on their returns. Her plan would also put an end to the profits the government makes on student loans. Senator Marco Rubio was the only Republican candidate to propose a solution for the nation’s student debt. He introduced his own plan, the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, which aims to give students data on how much they will owe and how much they will make after graduation.



Mayor of a College Town Ball Bearings sits down with Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler to discuss the economic impact a university has on a small town. story: miranda carney photo: jessika zachary

How would your role as mayor of Muncie be different if the city wasn’t home to a university? Today in 2016, I’d say we would be two to three years out from some of the accomplishments that we have to date if we didn’t have the partnerships with the university and some of our foundations as well. They’re critical to our success. Do you believe there is a town and gown divide here between Ball State and Muncie? I believe there is always some town and gown divide. Years ago, I think it was much deeper and more significant. I think you see the Ball State community willing to come downtown and even farther south, willing to go across the river. A few years ago, they wouldn’t have thought of doing that. In fact, they would encourage students to not go downtown or be a part of the community and today that is much, much different. How has the city benefited economically from the university? In many ways. The university helps subsidize fire protection that we provide to the university campus. They’ve committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to programs and immersive learning programs. Immersive learning programs have helped to study food deserts, sustainability, and Edible Muncie programs.

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What are other ways community members benefit from living in a college town? The large population. The spending value that they bring to a community when they go out to eat or when they want to jump on the bicycle and go for a ride and stop some place for a coffee or a beverage or a sandwich. It’s really hard to put a dollar amount on it, but it’s tremendous. What kind of problems do college towns (or at least Muncie) face that other cities and towns don’t? I think one of the key parts of that is maintaining strong, attractive, off-campus rental properties. A weak rental property program drives property values down. Strong, attractive rental properties drive rental properties up. That’s key for a community like Muncie or Bloomington or South Bend or Fort Wayne or Evansville or Terre Haute. It’s critical for us to have those strong, strong, rental properties available.

Is there anything you hope the town of Muncie would accomplish with Ball State in the future? I think it’s critical for Ball State and the city of Muncie to improve our quality of place and our quality of life. That was one of the things that I was so impressed with over the last couple years that I saw Ball State really focusing on: quality of place and quality of life for my community as well as the university community. How would job prospects differ if Ball State wasn’t here? Would there be enough jobs to sustain the community? No. It’s critical. Ball State is the largest employer in our city. Hundreds and hundreds of those jobs are very high paying jobs with tremendous benefits. It’s a key piece of our job infrastructure here.

*Responses have been edited for clarity and accuracy


The Value of a College Degree One professor of economics discusses why college is still worth the investment.


n average, college graduates earn almost $30,000 more than high school graduates who did not go to college. But with more attention focused on rising college costs, is college still a good investment? To find the answer, we can compare the returns on an investment in college against other investments like the stock market. Economists at the Hamilton Project have done just that and found that a college education returns about 15 percent per year on average, compared to about 6 percent per year on average in the stock market over the past 50 years. Why is college such a good investment? Economics suggests two main possibilities: human capital and signaling. Human capital refers to the knowledge and skills people accumulate through training, education, and experience. Employees with more human capital are more valuable and are expected to earn higher salaries. The importance of human capital has increased over the past 20 years because computer technology has increased the productivity of workers in occupations requiring mathematics, analytical thinking and cognitive skills. Attending college is one way to acquire these types of human capital, and this is true whether students major in business, science, or the arts. Signaling, on the other hand, suggests that college may be a great investment even if it does not increase students’ human capital. When employers hire someone, they often have very little information about what kind of worker this person will be. Will they be dedicated, smart, creative, and a team player, or will they be lazy and incompetent, with a bad personality to boot?

One way to get more information about a prospective employee’s quality is to look for a “signal.” Here’s the basic idea: suppose there are two types of Erik Nesson employees, low Assistant Professor quality and high of Economics quality, and that employers cannot tell one type from the other. However, prospective employees can pay to send a signal to employers that says, “I’m high quality!” If it is easier for high quality people to send this signal, then it turns out that only high quality people will send this signal, allowing firms to differentiate who is high quality and who is low quality. A college degree fits this description of a signal: it is costly to acquire, in both time, effort, and money, but is less costly for higher quality students. Of course, there is a third possibility. Just because we can see that people who have college degrees earn more than those who don’t doesn’t mean that the college degree was responsible for the increased earnings. Perhaps college adds no human capital and isn’t much of a signal, but instead the people who are most likely to get college degrees are hard-working, ambitious and would have earned a lot of money without college. Which one of these theories about the returns to a college education is correct? All three possibilities are supported by evidence, and of course the three possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

photo: maggie kenworthy

What does this mean for students at Ball State? The human capital theory implies that students who learn skills that are valued by employers will be paid more. As noted above, information technology, mathematics, and the ability to think analytically are more rewarded than ever in the workplace. Many websites, such as, list college majors and their early career earnings. According to payscale, majors in engineering, mathematics, and analytical business are among the majors with the highest starting salaries, with individuals earning $50,000 or more early in their careers. The signaling theory suggests that students who have visible signals of a valuable employee will be more likely to be hired. This does not end with a college diploma. The rise in the number of people attending college may have muted the college signal, and employers may be looking for more than just a diploma. How can students send good signals to employers? Membership and involvement in clubs, taking difficult courses, and maintaining a high GPA may all send the “I’m high quality!” signal to potential employers. Finally, a diploma is not the only thing that matters. Hard work, perseverance, and networking may all affect what you do after college. So although, even with rising tuition, college remains a great investment, a lot of that investment is increasingly in the hands of students. Students at Ball State are surrounded by professors, clubs, and any number of activities that will help them acquire skills and knowledge and get that job after college.



Working for a Diploma stories: katie grieze photos by: sabrina schnetzer


s the cost of tuition rises, so does the necessity of student employment. The number of people unable to afford college has increased by 15 percent in the past 30 years, according to Pew Research Center. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that of those who do attend college, 72 percent simultaneously hold jobs. Students who work 10-15 hours each week tend to show a higher level of academic success than those who work more than that or are unemployed, according to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). But such a routine can be detrimental to the health of those maintaining it. Many are pressed to forgo sleep in order to complete assignments. Participation in student organizations may falter as work and school become top priorities. Despite such efforts, the money students earn is often insufficient to cover college expenses. However, some student employees find the responsibility of a paid position very rewarding. Working during college provides experience and professional skills that can benefit future careers, especially if students are able to find jobs corresponding to their goals.

BY THE NUMBERS 15% afford college in the past 30 years

rise in number of people unable to

72% of students hold jobs while in college 10-15 hours

Students who work 10-15 hours each week tend to show a higher level of academic success than those who work more or are unemployed

8 •

Sixth year senior John Kenneth Steele flips pancakes as he makes food at Two Cats Cafe. John is a hospitality and food management major with minors in entrepreneurship and leadership studies.



ohn Kenneth Steele is one of the first people to work at Two Cats Cafe in the area near Ball State known as The Village. He said the restaurant has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with Mediterranean influence. When the cafe opened in late January, it lacked training manuals and formal recipe books. To create standardized versions of these materials, John used his education in food management to study cooks at Two Cats and Damask Cafe (a location under the same ownership). “This is probably the most valuable job experience I’ve had, because of how relevant it is to my industry,” he said. John had been searching for employment for approximately six months before securing his position at Two Cats. He completed 53 job applications in that time, but only received two interview opportunities. “I’d had enough,” he said. “I went into Two Cats, sat down, and waited about half an hour until the manager was available. I said, ‘You need to hire me and this is why.’ He hired me because I had that aggression of ‘I need to work here, I want to work here, and this is why you need me on your team.’”

John previously worked for almost three years at an American Eagle in his hometown, north of Indianapolis. Every few weeks he would commute an hour from Muncie for a weekend of overnight shifts totaling up to 40 hours. Thanks to full-time summer jobs, John starts fall semesters with “more than enough funds to take care of rent, utilities, groceries, and gas,” and said he generally doesn’t experience financial stress until at least February. He began his current job in that time frame, securing an income to balance out his depleting funds, “though it is tricky doing that on minimum wage.” John is also the vice president of the Association of Collegiate A Cappella and the coordinator of Unexpected Resolution, a male vocal group that performs at competitions and collaborative shows. Each week he attends three rehearsals and various meetings for the different boards and committees involved. “Any given day it’s not uncommon for me to have four or five exec meetings,” John said, “and people are like, ‘How do you have that many execs to meet with?’” He dedicates 20-30 hours to the activity each week.


Resident Assistant Alex Martenies talks to C.J. Smiler, who is one of his residents on the second floor of Brayton/ Clevenger Hall. Alex is double majoring in criminal Justice and psychology.

Though Alex Martenies technically works 20 hours per week, a resident assistant’s job is around the clock. This is his second year in the position, which mostly involves interacting with residents. He felt like a wanderer on campus as a freshman, but the RA job added structure in his sophomore year. “It’s probably the best experience I’ve had coming to Ball State,” he said. Alex labels his job as something he “gets to do,” saying that not everyone has the great opportunity to be an RA. Working through college establishes a higher sense of responsibility for him as the knowledge of observant underclassmen motivates him to lead by example. “I’m an RA in a primarily freshman dorm,” said Alex, “so there is a lot of energy, a lot of fun, and a lot of hope. I like pulling that together and making sure they make it through their freshman year. I have a general goal of trying to make positive impacts in people’s lives.” This passion led Alex to pursue majors in criminal justice and psychology, and an eventual doctorate in counseling. His current job promotes interactions with a variety of personalities, which he looks forward to applying in a counseling career.

Freshman Megan Lange washes utensils to be used in Noyer’s dining area. She is an art major with a glass concentration.

LOSING SLEEP, MOTIVATION Junior Kathryn Hampshire works at the Writing Center. She tutors students in person or online by using Google Docs. Kathryn works three on-campus jobs. She is an English literature major with minors in professional writing in emerging media and leadership studies.


Though Kathryn Hampshire is currently working less than usual due to a heavy course load, she still totals up to 15 hours each week. Her employment at the Writing Center, where she tutors students and monitors social media, is the most consistent and personally rewarding of her three jobs this semester. At the Department of Accounting, she holds office hours as a writing assistant and spends up to 10 additional hours each week grading papers or aiding professors with writing they wish to publish. Her exam proctor position varies each week, and Kathryn spends more hours in the lab during midterms and finals. In fall semesters, Kathryn works a fourth job as an Honors College peer mentor. This requires her to take a supplemental class while teaching her own class of incoming honors freshmen. In the Fall of 2015, Kathryn worked around

20 hour weeks while taking 17 credit hours. She slept an average of three hours per night. “A lot of students have trouble prioritizing that they are a person before being a student,” said Kathryn. “I treated myself like I was a student first, an employee second… and third, and fourth, and fifth, because of all those jobs, and then I was a person.” The difficulty Kathryn faced in maintaining her mental health that semester motivated her decision to work fewer hours this spring. Kathryn enjoys being able to save money, but she works because each position she is drawn to contributes in some way to her future plans of becoming an English professor. “Every job I have I would do for free,” she said. Kathryn is also involved in several student organizations, but her employment is often more rewarding. “An implicit part of being paid to do something is feeling like you are needed,” Kathryn said. “What you are doing is worthwhile, and it’s benefiting people.”

Megan Lange washes dishes for more than 15 hours each week. She often cannot begin class assignments until 10 p.m., sometimes staying awake until 5 a.m. to complete art projects. Megan said that her income is not even close to covering college expenses, and half of her paycheck is usually spent on art supplies. Next semester she would like to find a higher paying position by using the associate’s degree she earned in high school. The small Ohio high school she attended offered a post-secondary enrollment option due to the limited availability of Advanced Placement courses. Half of Megan’s classes her junior year and all of them her senior year were taken at a community college, simultaneously meeting the requirements for a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts. Megan is also involved in Ball State Women’s Ultimate, a club frisbee team that competes throughout the Midwest. The sport is similar to soccer, but is played with a frisbee instead of a ball. She is currently training to be the organization’s president. Work occasionally prevents her from attending frisbee tournaments, however, which “kills her motivation to go to practice.” Ball State’s Glass Guild, another club Megan plans to join, will provide opportunities to blow glass, learn techniques, and share work.



Distributing Dollars Since 1987, universities and colleges in the U.S. added 517,636 administrators and professional employees. At Ball State, the highest paid employees are presidents and coaches. graphic: alex white | photos: breanna daugherty




2013-2014 Salary

Paul Ferguson was Ball State’s 15th president and he remained in office 18 months out of his five year contract with the university. While in office, he developed a push for entrepreneurial learning, hosted Beneficence Dialogues, creted Academic Excellence grants, and introduced the Centennial Commitment.


2015-2016 Salary




Mike Neu was appointed as the head football coach January 7, 2016. He has 15 years of coaching experience with stops in the National Football League, Division I FBS football, and the arena leagues. He was also Ball State’s leading quarterback in 1993.

ADDITIONAL STAFF SALARIES The overall staff budget for faculty and professional personnel at Ball State is $85,632,213. The salaries listed for cashiers, custodians, and landscapers are estimated averages based on fulltime hourly wages during an academic year. The salaries for instructors and professors are taken from the 20152016 Ball State Factbook.

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estimated average

Fourteen dining locations across campus offer a wide variety of food choices and serving styles as well as jobs for several workers, even students. Pay may vary depending on years of employment.


2014-2015 Salary

estimated average

Custodial Services are performed during the hours 10:30 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday in most university buildings. Pay may vary depending on years of employment.


estimated average

Landscapers assist in improving the environmental quality of campus and enhancing the overall appearance to the standard set in the university’s landscape and reforestation plan.


Below are the average salaries for the employees in each college at Ball State. The highest paid employees on average are in the Miller College of Business and the lowest paid employees on average are in the College of Fine Arts. The highest and lowest paid employees within each department are also listed.

College of Architecture and Planning

Miller College of Business



Highest: $132,586 Lowest: $61,602

Highest: $229,800 Lowest: $58,975

College of Science and Humanities


College of Communication, Information and Media College of Applied Sciences and Technology


$89,777 Highest: $148,997 Lowest: $58,861

Teachers College

Highest: $130,032 Lowest: $47,413

Michael Holmes was the highest paid in the college, before retiring at the beginning of this semester


estimated average

Someone who teaches at a university in a lowerranking position. At Ball State, there are 37 instructors in Teachers College, 40 Instructors of Nursing, 19 in Architecture and Planning, 26 in Miller College of Business, 15 in Journalism and more in other departments.


Highest: $152,672 Lowest: $52,539

estimated average

There are 950 full-time faculty members, and nearly 90 percent of the faculty hold degrees in their disciplines or have years of professional experience in their areas. Campus serves 190 majors and more than 130 minor areas of study.

$77,225 Highest: $120,169 Lowest: $53,248

College of Fine Arts


Highest: $130,610 Lowest: $47,485


President The Cost of a

Months after former Ball State President Paul Ferguson’s resignation, students still feel the financial impact.

story: miranda carney | photos: breanna daugherty


acob Gretencord was working at his on-campus landscaping job when he heard the news. After just 18 months, President Paul Ferguson resigned. As a senior at Ball State University, he had now seen two university presidents leave during his time at the school. After hearing that Ferguson was resigning, Jacob initially asked himself: why? But then, he spent more time thinking about the cost. For students, taxpayers, and everyone who had a stake in the university, he realized the impact would be a financial one. As days passed, Jacob noticed everyone around him seemed to express concern and frustration about the university keeping Ferguson’s reasons for resigning a secret. But for Jacob, that was second in line of importance. Sure, the decision seemed secretive and sly to many, but what Jacob wished more of his peers would understand was the financial impact this resignation brought. It wasn’t just about secrets, it was about the millions of dollars this would cost Ball State. The thousands of dollars students contribute to the university and the hundreds of thousands of dollars it would cost for Ferguson to resign. He decided to write an editorial to get students, faculty, and community members thinking about what the loss of this president would cost. Ten years of university branding would be almost completely gone. And a president that cost $150,000 to hire would cost even more to let go.


In late October 2013, Jacob was a sophomore and President Jo Ann Gora announced her plan to retire. Just days later, Ball State sent out a request to search firms, looking for a private agency to search for the new president, to which nine firms responded. A little over two months later, the university signed a contract with Baker and Associates for $150,000. This executive search firm has worked with more than 100 other universities including Yale, Harvard, Duke, and Indiana University. Students across the nation – not just at Ball State – are frustrated with the cost of the hiring process for administration. From 1987 until 2011, universities and colleges in the U.S. added 517,636

administrators and professional employees, according to American Institutes for Research and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting. During this same time period, Ball State added 108 administrators. Hiring this many employees comes at a price. Yet the impact of these employees on students remains small in some areas. Since 2002, the number of students to graduate in six years or less in the U.S. only went up from 55 percent to 58 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Even though thousands more employees are being hired, only three percent more students are graduating. At Ball State, the process to hire the president following President Gora lasted seven months. President Gora went through a similar process, but was in office for ten years. Seven months, 22 applicants, and five finalists later, Paul W. Ferguson was selected. In 2014, former professor of government and provost at American University, Milton Greenberg, wrote about private search firms in the Chronicle of Higher Education, noting that there is no evidence that using a search firm improves the quality or longevity of administrative leaders. However, search firms are private entities. This means that candidate names remain anonymous. Colleges are state entities, so they are required to make candidate names public.


change in the number of students to graduate in six years or less from 2002 to present. The increase is marginally small in comparison to the increase of new employees and adminstration positions being hired. Ball State alone hired 108 new administrators from 1987 to 2011.


Jacob said he believes former President Gora got Ball State on the map of colleges worth attending in Indiana. Anecdotal evidence from people in other states suggests more people recognize Ball State by name than they did before Gora took office, adding to the value of a Ball State degree. Much of the branding Gora developed has been erased, leaving students like Jacob feeling that the financial impact President Ferguson left lasts beyond his resignation. Ball State stopped using the “Education Redefined” tagline in April 2015, and in September, university officials decided not to replace the slogan. President Ferguson also changed the phrase “immersive learning” to “entrepreneurial learning.” There was and still is no tagline. In these brand refresh meetings, color and fonts were tweaked.



I think it’s important for the board of trustees to understand that these are adults that are here to get an education. They’re the next generation of Millennials and are entrepreneurs that are going to be making a difference. And I always think it’s important that the students recognize that the administration has got a job to do.”



Ball State’s tagline for nine years. This was dropped during Ferguson’s time as president in April of 2015.

According to a report in The Business Review, universities must look to branding as a way to attract students and fund their mission, especially as the cost of tuition continues to rise and state funding decreases. Branding experts say that branding is more than logos and taglines. Reputation plays a big role. Rob Zinkan, the associate vice president for marketing and branding at Indiana University, said many people underestimate the importance of branding at universities. Rob said higher education has become a more and more competitive marketplace, making it critical for institutions to be able to articulate who they are. “A strong brand enables an institution to better compete for outstanding students, talented faculty and staff, and philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, and corporations,” he said. Rob agreed that a brand is much more than a logo or tagline. “A brand exists in the minds of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and others,” he said. “It represents their thoughts and feelings about an institution based on the experiences that they have had.” While Ball State does have a logo, the thoughts and feelings many students, staff, and alumni have about the university have shifted after President Ferguson’s resignation. At the mention of Ball State, many students instinctively finish the sentence with “Education Redefined.” This was Ball State’s tagline since 2006. Previous taglines included “Everything You Need” and “Cutting Edge Cool.” Now, there is no tagline. Without a tagline, there is little brand recognition. Without a strong brand, Ball State may fail to continue to recruit quality students and faculty. It will also affect the support it gets from outside foundations and corporations.

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From 2000 to 2010, salaries of presidents at public universities increased by 75 percent, according to the American Association of University Professors. Ferguson was paid a salary of more than $450,000. That made him the second highest paid president at an Indiana public university, after Michael McRobbie at Indiana University, who was making $533,120. President Gora was the fifth-highest-paid public college president in the United States from 2011-2012, according to a report by the Chronicle of Higher Education. In total, she made $984,647 that year. During President Ferguson’s two month leave, he was paid around $75,000. He will also be paid for unused vacation days. His severance payment of $450,000 will only be lowered if he finds another position within twelves months of his sabbatical leave. If President Ferguson does not get another position, he will be paid a total of around $560,000. The cost doesn’t stop at Ferguson’s resignation. The expensive process of hiring a new president starts anew, and if the same process to hire Gora and Ferguson is used, the cost will be around $150,000 again. The Board of Trustees met on March 14 to discuss the process they would use to find the next president. Rick Hall said there will be public forums so students and faculty can voice what they want to see in the next president. After the resignation, many students and staff wanted to know where their money is going in the form of editorials, sit-ins, and conversation. When Jacob wrote his editorial on the topic, he received a few negative comments from people looking at the issue from the federal and state level of funding. He said that although the university receives federal and state funding, it is important to look at the issue from a smaller perspective and consider the amount each student pays, and whether or not it is going directly toward the cost of Ferguson. Even if the state were to cover a lot of the cost, that only means tuition would increase. “The pennies that are coming from each household and from the federal government – if you individually divide that up – cannot compare to [each student] dumping [thousands of dollars] into this university. It just doesn’t compare,” Jacob said. As the presidential election grows closer, politicians are talking about the cost of education. But Jacob says he wishes more people would talk about affordability, not just making education free. He thinks people should be paying attention to not only what employees at the university are being paid but how many people are employed as well. Dennis Tyler, who has been mayor of Muncie since January 1, 2012, has also seen both Gora and Ferguson resign, but says the impact on him as mayor remains to be seen. He said he has been assured by university


how much the salaries of public university presidents have increased from 2000 to 2010.


the amount that President Ferguson will get paid if he does not find a new position 12 months after his sabbatical leave.


Richard W. Burkhardt Paul W. Ferguson Jerry Anderson Winfred E. Wagoner Robert P. Bell Benjamin J. Burris

1 2 2 2 3 3

Linnaeus N. Hines


William W. Parsons


Blaine A. Brownell


Jo Ann Gora


John J. Pruis


Lemuel A. Pittenger John R. Emens John E. Worthen leadership and the Board of Trustees that there aren’t going to be any hiccups in the process of hiring a new president. He also said that students knowing where their tuition money goes is extremely important, noting that transparency really does work and hiding things only makes others create a negative opinion. “I think it’s important for the Board of Trustees to understand that these are adults that are here to get an education,” Mayor Tyler said. “ And I always think it’s important that the students recognize that the administration has got a job to do.” As a student, Jacob says he hopes the next president is someone committed. He said he believes almost anything that President Ferguson did can easily be erased, which is frustrating to him because of the financial repercussions.

15 23 36 “It’s our money,” Jacob said, stressing that he isn’t talking about federal or state tax dollars, but the individual student money. “Everybody sitting in the library at some point is going to wind up dumping [thousands of dollars] into the university.” Acting President Terry King does not intend to remain president, and after six months when the search for his replacement starts, Ball State will have had three presidents in three years. Considering the financial burden this places on the university, Jacob hopes more students will take a closer look at the cost of Ball State’s president – the hiring process, the resignation process, and the cost of a new president’s initiatives. These decisions will impact students, their experience at Ball State, the value of their degree, and the reputation of their university.


Once a new president is hired, Ball State will have had three presidents in three years.


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A HIDDEN HOME An estimated 58,000 college students are homeless throughout the country. Alicia Herder was one of them. story: kaitlyn arford | photos: reagan allen

irst one sweater, then another, then a third. She buttoned her black coat atop them before lying on the stiff, narrow couch. A nearby filing cabinet held the blanket and pillow she kept safe. Wrapping the blanket around her, and placing the pillow beneath her head, she grabbed what little sleep she could before waking that cold December morning as the campus lay resting. She got up and walked briskly to the public restroom where she brushed her teeth, put in her contacts, and layered on makeup before returning to the study room she had slept in the night before. There she changed her clothes and secured her now folded blanket and pillow in the filing cabinet once again. Then she made the long walk to her Toyota Corolla parked behind the David Letterman Communication and Media Building to put away her clothes and grab her backpack before heading off to class. Just a month earlier, Alicia Herder had parked that same car at the two-story house she shared with six roommates. It was that November of 2013 when she realized she didn’t have enough money to pay both rent and food. She made what she called an “easy choice” between the two, because while she knew she couldn’t survive without food, she could survive without shelter. “I’m going to move out,” she told her roommates, without mentioning how she didn’t have a new home awaiting her. They didn’t seem to understand why she had to move out halfway through the school year, but they also didn’t know how little money Alicia had in the bank. She was out of loans and out of options. LEAVING COMFORT Alicia packed away the inflatable mattress that had been lying on the floor of her bedroom. She rolled up the posters that had been hanging on her walls. Her movies, birthday cards, kitchen utensils, and many, many books, were placed into boxes for her mom to take. She’s never owned much, so there were only enough

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boxes to fill the trunk of a Toyota. The only thing she left behind was the desk she had inherited from a friend. And then it was official. Alicia was without a home. Just like the other 58,000 college students estimated in the U.S., according to the 2013 FAFSA application. Students who are sleeping in their cars, on the streets, on friend’s couches. Students who are, simply, homeless. Those numbers are underreported, said Cyekeia Lee, director of higher education initiatives at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAYCE). There may be more students out there, but officials wouldn’t know because these students don’t identify themselves as homeless. The shame, the embarrassment, the fear of unknown consequences can hold students back from checking that box. Regardless, one truth remains: a striking number of college students are balancing studies, jobs, and preparation for future careers without knowing where they can safely catch a full night of sleep or find their next meal. As the president of Cardinal Filmworks, a telecommunications club, Alicia had access to the Student Advisory Council Room (SAC) that student organizations used to meet during the day. A room in the Letterman building just big enough for two couches, a small desk, and a few chairs within its beige walls. But at night, it was where Alicia sought refuge. The hallways – typically filled with echoing voices – fell silent in the nighttime. The unnatural emptiness of night loomed,

“I always hear about new places and I’m baffled that this is America and this is where we have college students sleeping.”


enhanced by gaping classrooms and void hallways. Vending machines flashed their blue buttons, attracting only ghosts to their stock. And within the SAC room, Alicia tried desperately to get her five precious hours of sleep behind the locked door to which only a select few had keycard access. Homeless college students typically look like everyone else their age: clothed in yoga pants or warm sweaters or basketball shorts. They blend in, and they go unnoticed. “I’ve been working with homeless students for a long time, over a decade, and I still have to kinda train my brain to think differently of what homelessness means or what even a homeless person looks like,” Cyekeia said. And she would know, since she runs the hotline NAYCE provides for students to call with questions about being homeless. She’s spoken to students living in barns in Texas. She’s had students sleeping in

ditches, bathing in creeks. One football player slept beneath the benches. One student in New York scooped coins out of wishing wells just to have money to eat. “I feel like I’m stealing people’s wishes every day,” he told her. “I always hear about new places and I’m baffled that this is America and this is where we have college students sleeping,” Cyekeia said. At Ball State University, administrators have learned of two instances of students living in their cars or staying in the library in the past 10 years. “Once we became aware, we helped them find financial assistance to live temporarily in housing until a permanent solution was found,” Associate Vice President of Strategic Communications Joan Todd wrote in an email. “Most people who are homeless don’t want others to know, and go to great lengths to hide the fact.”






After Alicia’s semester of being homeless, she spent her senior year commuting from her hometown of Carmel to Ball State. She even created a short film about the experiences, which she used on grad school applications.

From 2009 to 2011, 51.8 percent of students living off-campus and not with relatives had incomes below the poverty level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Low-income students will often live offcampus, forgo textbooks, and work long hours to pay the bills. Some students may choose to take a semester off to save money so they can later return to school. But for those who don’t want to sacrifice a semester, or who have sacrificed all they can, one option remains: to continue their studies without the certainty of a roof over their head. “I’m not going to pretend that I know of all the circumstances where a student has experienced homelessness. It’s probably not that often, but more often than we’d like to think,” said. Michael Gillilan, director of student rights and community standards. Gillilan said he’s not aware of any efforts within the university to quantify the extent of homelessness among its students. Colleges and universities aren’t required to keep track of how many of their students are homeless. “At the K-12 level, all of the schools have a dedicated homeless liaison. They have much more of a closer relationship with their students and know what’s going on,” said Karen McCarthy, a senior policy analyst from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). “Once the students get out of the K-12 level and move into the higher education stage, there isn’t a dedicated person at the higher education level who documents their homelessness. It gets a little less precise.” Nationally, not much support or research exists for homeless college students. The 2015 State of Homelessness in America

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report said that unaccompanied youth and children accounted for 7.8 percent of the total homeless population. If passed, The Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act of 2015 will simplify the FAFSA to better categorize homelessness and will classify homeless or unaccompanied youth under 24 as independents, making it easier for these students to receive financial aid. ADAPTING TO NEW CIRCUMSTANCES Alicia would often hang out in Bracken Library until its closing at 3 a.m. As she exited the library with friends, she’d make up excuses to cover why she wasn’t returning to a home like them. “Oh, I’ll study more in Letterman and stay up.” She worried about leaving her blanket and pillow behind at first, but then realized people would only be bewildered by their presence. It wouldn’t cross their minds to suspect a homeless student was staying there. As a double major in theater and telecommunications, Alicia didn’t want to take a semester off and fall behind. To do that would be to admit failure. She would feel even further away from her goal of going to grad school and becoming a film director. She wasn’t willing to stop fighting for what she wanted, especially since she didn’t take college for granted in the first place. She had built up a resilience from her days in high school, when her parents told her they couldn’t support her financially if she chose to pursue college. But she pursued it anyway, earning scholarships, working a part-time job at Greek’s Pizzeria, and taking out loans to pay the rest. “I made my way into college,” Alicia said. “I was going to make sure I made my way out of college. It was going to be on my terms and my terms alone.” Her Toyota Corolla was filled with winter clothing, her Greek’s Pizzeria uniform, and a few nice dresses just in case of special occasions. Her laptop, too. Little torn, crumpled notes filled a plastic baggie, remnants of times in high school when her friends would gather together to share handwritten compliments. Words of advice encouraging her to pursue her dream of filmmaking filled a letter from a friend at Stanford trying to achieve the same. These, for when she needed a “pick me up.” If she didn’t need it to survive, she didn’t have it. Like other students, Alicia chose to get by with less than she needed. Some students can’t receive help from their

parents to get them through school. A 2013 College Board analysis found that for full-time undergraduate students, parents and students covered 38 percent of the total charges from funds other than grants or loans. But when parents like Alicia’s can’t afford to help their children through college, the burden falls on the student. Even with Alicia’s connections with friends, and ability to get food, Linda, Alicia’s mom, worried for her daughter’s safety. “Anything could happen. You don’t have a home base,” Linda said. The unexpected did happen. There were nights when she was startled awake by the sound of a door opening. A janitor had stopped by the room to clean it up, only to apologize after realizing someone was sleeping there. “I don’t care,” Alicia said. The janitor left immediately without waiting to pick up trash or sweep the floors, and Alicia did the same, not returning until later so they had time to clean up before she fell asleep again. “We probably scared each other just as much,” she said. It was an awkward situation, one she didn’t know how to navigate. She knew of no schedule for custodial work, so she paced out when she’d arrive. She didn’t want to interfere with their jobs, but she also didn’t want to get in trouble. She was found by janitors about three times that semester, and the fear of getting in trouble never abated. None of the janitors ever said anything as far as Alicia knows, but Ball State custodians said it’s part of their jobs to note anything that’s suspicious or unsafe for students. If custodians found someone who was homeless on campus, they could report them to their supervisor. Then, their supervisor can contact other offices or the police, as needed. SECRET CIRCUMSTANCES Alicia didn’t know who had the authority to tell her to stop sleeping in the room, but she worried it would take one wrong word to the wrong person. “It felt like if a lot of people found out what I was doing then maybe I could get in trouble,” Alicia said. “It felt like the more secretive I could make it, the safer my circumstances would be.” If a student experiences homelessness, or any other kind of distress, administrators want to make sure they are getting the help they need, Gillilan said. So it’s not uncommon for the Office of Student Affairs to get referrals from outside organizations about students “in distress” - meaning students hurting

emotionally or mentally, students struggling with other life circumstances, or even students who are homeless. But not all students open up about their struggles. And for those students, there’s no easy way to find out where to go for help. No specific department is charged with handling cases of homelessness. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness doesn’t track the number of homeless students here. Gillilan hesitated, pondering where students should first seek help. Probably the dean or associate dean in the Office of Student Affairs, he said. Emergency funding for students in distress is available from the university foundation through the Parent’s Fund. University guidelines restrict Ball State officials from giving students money directly, but they can pay a third party, such as a landlord or utilities company. It’s been done in the past, like the student Gillilan remembered who couldn’t put down a housing deposit until his financial aid check cleared. The foundation paid his housing deposit, allowing him time to pay his rent later with money he received from financial aid. “If we aren’t the right place to go, our commitment is that the next place you go will be the right place to be,” he said. Sometimes, Gillilan said, that doesn’t mean it comes from the university. Ball State has connections with other local organizations, food pantries, and homeless shelters. Students can use a food pantry provided by Ball State’s Student Government Association each week. But in order for students to receive these resources, they must know about them first.

RESOURCES ON CAMPUS • Cardinal Kitchen: open the last three Thursdays of each month

• The Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Student Rights and Community Standards can direct students to other resources on campus that can help • No specific department is charged with handling homeless cases.

• The Parents Fund: The Office of Student Affairs can distribute emergency funding for students in distress from the university foundation parent’s fund. University guidelines restrict Ball State officials from giving students money directly, but they can pay a third party, such as a landlord or utilities company.


RESOURCES IN MUNCIE • Action, Inc. of Delaware County: energy assistance, emergency food and shelter, furnace program, family and individual development programs, senior aides, handyman services, transportation for seniors and disabled residents, child care. • Center Township Trustee’s Office: assistance with current rent, first mortgage payments, utility bills, food, household items, prescriptions, and office calls to Open Door Clinic • Christian Ministries: provides crisis shelter, winter sleeping room, emergency fin aid, second hand shop, food pantry • Habitat for Humanity, ReStore: inexpensive furniture and household improvement items at discount rate

• Harvest Soup Kitchen: free lunches for those in need • Goodwill: sells clothing and housing items at discounted rate • Muncie Housing Authority: provides long term rental assistance, not emergency assistance • Muncie Mission Ministries, Inc.: free community lunch, family assistance program for those in crisis, Attic Window Stores sell low cost new and gently used clothing, furniture, appliances, and household items. • Open Door Health Center: low-cost health and dental care • The Salvation Army: provides food assistance, some energy assistance available • Second Harvest Food Bank: helps find locations that provide food assistance

“I’ll be honest, I’m by no means an expert on homelessness among college students and I’m not sure if there’s anyone around here who is,” Gillilan said. “I don’t think it’s something we understand all that well. In part because it’s very different in university circumstances.” OVERCOMING BARRIERS Some mornings she’d be up at 6 a.m. to get a shower in at the recreation center, which was rough because she hated mornings. Among the lockers was one that housed her supplies: shampoo, conditioner, soap, a razor, her towel. When she’d shower in the morning, Alicia sometimes wouldn’t have time to return to her car to put her clothing away, so she’d stuff her items in her purse and carry on her day. She learned the exact way to roll up the bulkiness of her clothes so they fit just right. When she rifled through her purse to find a particular assignment, she took care so she wouldn’t accidentally pull out

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a pair of underwear, or some other piece of clothing. Alicia’s weekdays were spent running between classes, clubs, and work, and squeezing in time to work on projects in between. Being homeless made her work harder in school because she was on campus constantly. She began the semester with a 3.8 GPA and maintained it throughout. But it also became overbearing. Alicia began asking herself how many weeks in the semester were left. She was determined to leave Indiana, so she was constantly working on internship applications. “If I’m not working my ass off right now do I really want to go to film school then? Do I really want to reach this goal? I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have a bigger goal like that,” Alicia said. “The best answer is [I would have] dropped out. It completely sucked, but it was a reason to get up in the morning.” She didn’t want other people to worry about her. If she knew about them worrying over her, it would just add to the stress she didn’t need. She made the most of her laundry, managing to last until spring break, when she stayed at a friends place and cleaned her clothes. There were a few other times she made use of a friend’s washer and dryer. “It was like going to war everyday,” she said. Her days in the trenches were numbered, but that didn’t mean she could stop fighting. Most of the money she made waiting tables at Greek’s Pizzeria was saved with hopes that it would help her during an internship. She would set aside the rest for meals and whatever amount of coffee she could survive on. If she couldn’t pay for a home, she couldn’t justify spending money on anything fun. Her social life was less lively than before, and her sex life nonexistent. So she did what she could for free. Sometimes she’d rent a movie from the library, or go on a drive to the reservoir. The feeling of absolute boredom enwrapped her like an endless cloud of fog. Regardless of the day, there were too many people around, all the time. She could never escape them, or the stress of school. She never got a moment to herself, even when she was the only one in the room. There was no kitchen to cook a homemade dinner in. There was no Netflix to turn on. There was no escape. She drove to the one place where she could seek true solitude: Prairie Creek Reservoir. Alicia stood on the frozen

ground, staring out at the wrinkles of frozen water. The crisp air chipped into her skin. No sound existed aside from the air brushing across the reservoir, like wind chimes whispering. She could finally escape the constant chatter of classes, the footsteps resounding on sidewalks, the internal apprehension of what came next. Here it was still. Here it was peace. Here Alicia was like her favorite tree: alone, but still standing. Children who are homeless are more likely to be worse off mentally and physically, and will not be as advanced in school as their peers, reports the American Psychological Association. But gaps exist in the research available for pinpointing the effects of homelessness on college students. For Alicia, there has never been another time in her life when she has felt so exhausted emotionally, mentally, and physically. Even with her sweaters and $40 coat wrapped around her, the room remained freezing. She wasn’t eating well. She was drained in every way possible, but felt like she couldn’t let defeat win. Her paranoia remained a constant, but she gradually felt more comfortable telling people where she was sleeping as the semester wore on. Often these conversations started naturally with questions: why are you always at the library so early in the morning? It was always an awkward subject to bring up, and Alicia remembers that people didn’t know how to respond especially since she acted so nonchalant about it. She said “I’m sorry” was a common response. It was never a heartto-heart. She tried to brush it off and make it not seem like a big deal; she didn’t want it to seem like she was having a pity party. She only told those she trusted and knew wouldn’t say anything, especially to authority figures. She didn’t speak of it to any professors she knew well, aside from one. She had gone to see Peter “Sonny” Wingler, telecommunications professor and internship coordinator, to ask about internships four weeks before the semester ended. He had taught some of the classes she had taken earlier on in college and wrote a letter of recommendation for her so she knew him pretty well. He asked her how one of her roommates was doing. “I don’t know, I haven’t seen that much of her,” Alicia told him. “Aren’t you living with her?” he asked. “Well, about that…” she said, before telling him how she had moved out, and was now living without a home.

“I was so nervous to say anything. I didn’t know if he’d have to report it. I didn’t want to put myself in a situation that could ruin what I had but I also didn’t want to lie to him about it.” Maybe if she had classes with him that semester she wouldn’t have been so open with him. It was a relief to speak to someone older about it, someone who wasn’t a parent. It was a relief knowing that someone was looking out for her. She only spoke to him that one time. He was definitely worried, she said. MOVING BEYOND Professors aren’t legally obligated to report instances of homelessness among their students. “The obligation to report and seek assistance isn’t really an ethical one, it’s a moral one,” Gillilan said. “Everyone here wants students to succeed. We all recognize that student success is based on a set of circumstances that go well beyond and relevant to a classroom.” “My expectation and my hope is that they pick up the phone and call around until they find somebody who could help,” he said. With only a few weeks of the semester left, Alicia had almost completed her journey. At that point, she had already survived. But she hadn’t felt alive, not until she

“If i’m not working my ass off right now do i really want to go to film school then? Do i really want to reach this goal? I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have a bigger goal like that.”


heard she would spend the summer at her dream paid internship in New York City -- Women Make Movies, a nonprofit feminist arts organization. Before the news fully sank in she was in her car driving to the reservoir. There she headed directly to her favorite tree, the one that stood tall and strong even as elements changed around it. She stood beside it, electrified. She had been in the trenches of the dayto-day struggle for so long with no end in sight. Her struggles now felt worthwhile. The war she had fought for so long was finally over. After completing her internship, Alicia lived with her mom her senior year and commuted to Ball State from Carmel. As a senior, she created a short film about spending a semester homeless. It gave her time to reflect on what it had been like to survive those circumstances. It also gave her a sample of work to submit on grad school applications, the next destination she was determined to reach. Today, she studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is in her second year of graduate school. She’s pursuing what she loves, and even though her debt will “skyrocket,” it’s worth it. “It’s tons of money. But there’s nothing else I would rather do in the world than be here right now,” she said.



Students continue to pay more for a college education, but know less about the financing of their university. story: alex kincaid | photo illustrations: erika espinoza and maggie kenworthy

tudents filed into the Student Center Forum Room one after the other. Hushed conversation hung in the air as the Board of Trustees found their seats and prepared for the 3 p.m. meeting to begin. Many of the board members examined the larger than usual crowd of students and faculty. The sudden resignation of President Ferguson after only 541 days in office prompted many Ball State University students to openly express their disapproval of the decision. Not because he was gone, but because they were not told why he was gone. Students would be paying for the termination of his contract, as well as the search for a new president. They wanted answers, not political, PRdriven explanations. Carli Hendershot, a political science major and the organizer of the student sit-in on January 29, made the opening remarks. She requested that the

24 •

board put aside their politics and be open and transparent with the students. Like many other students and faculty members who had voiced their opinions after the seemingly quick and secretive decision, she demanded answers. But she and the other students didn’t get them. Students are still left to wonder why Ferguson resigned, why the decision was secret, and why the reputation of Ball State was put on the line. But students deserve answers to other issues with transparency on this campus that have nothing to do with Ferguson. How much money Ball State receives, the source of that money, and how different departments of the university are funded are all areas that directly affect students at Ball State. Yet these sectors of funding are also areas that students typically don’t know the numbers for. Instead of concrete and specific answers, students are often given generalizations or vague explanations about how their university is financed.

STATES AND STUDENTS FUND UNIVERSITIES Typically, the federal government provides financial aid to individual students, rather than institutions, according to a 2015 Pew Charitable Trusts analysis. State funding, on the other hand, pays for the operations of public colleges and universities. Therefore, states are one of the biggest providers for higher education. But in 2013, students provided the same amount of money through tuition and fees as state governments did for public colleges and universities across the United States. State funding, and student tuition and fees, are the largest contributors to revenue for most public colleges and universities. That same year, public colleges and universities in Indiana received more funding through student tuition and fees than any other source – including federal, state, and local revenue, according to Pew Charitable Trusts. This means Indiana colleges rely on tuition and fees more than any other revenue source in order to function. Not all states are like this, but most are. Funding from the state largely has to do with state policies. For example, in Wyoming, student tuition and fees was one of the smallest contributors to funding in 2013, while revenue from the state was the largest. The Wyoming constitution states that public institutions should be as close to free as they can be, and because of that, those schools receive more funding from the state and charge less in tuition and fees. State funding has decreased across the nation, largely because of the economic recession that began in 2007 and ended in 2009. Because of this decrease in funding, tuition has increased nationally. “The states have disinvested in higher education. That’s the big issue,” said Thomas Harnisch, the director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. “More students want to get into higher education, but the states just haven’t kept up their end of the funding.” Thomas said that states are able to cut funding for higher education because

26 •

colleges and universities can make up for lost funding by charging more in tuition. It’s easier for states to cut higher education funding because they can balance their budgets without raising taxes. The amount of funding that states contribute to public colleges and universities for each full-time student has decreased by several thousand dollars in the last few decades. In 1987, states contributed $8,497 per full-time student. In 2012, that number was $5,906, according to a 2014 report by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The decrease in funding from states shifts the cost to students and families in the form of increased tuition and fees. The higher price of college may lead to more student debt for those who cannot afford tuition without taking out student loans. Although students are paying more, the amount that is spent per student at public colleges and universities has been relatively flat over the last decade, Thomas said. A January 2016 Delta Cost Project report confirms this. The report found that spending per student at a public fouryear institution only increased around 2-3 percent between 2012 and 2013 – the largest increase since 2008. Colleges are not spending more per student, and states are contributing less per student. But students often offset the cost and continue to pay more than the state does. Students at Ball State, like other public colleges and universities across the nation, pay for classes, specific programs and courses, and numerous fees each semester. This results in more than $7,000 in tuition and fees for in-state students per academic year. And more than $23,000 for out-of-state students, according to the university’s website. The most recent audit report of Ball State in 2014 also demonstrates the trend of students providing more money than the state. Student tuition, fees, and scholarship allowances made up 31 percent of the total revenue for Ball State, which is slightly more than the 30 percent that came from the state of Indiana. Public universities and colleges can offset part of the money cut by the state, but rarely can they make up the total amount, Thomas said. Universities must often make their own cuts as well, along with raising the price of tuition and fees.

In 2016, the state of Indiana will appropriate more than $146.7 million to Ball State University – a decrease of $14.5 million in just one year. Between 2014 and 2015, the state gave Ball State $161.2 million. The money appropriated to Ball State is decided by the Indiana ways and means committee and is dispersed by the budget committee when the state decides on the biennial budget. The budget committee includes five members – one Republican and one Democrat from both houses, and the director of the budget agency. The budget committee holds open hearings while the budget is being decided so different agencies can outline their requests. Representative Terry Goodin, a member of the budget committee, said that there is a lot of discussion and disagreement regarding the allocation of funds. State appropriations for universities are heavily debated while the House is in session. University presidents and other figureheads often attend the sessions to present on their budget requests in attempt to get as much funding as they can. Senator Luke Kenley, a member of the budget committee, said more funding is allocated based on how the university has used funds in the past along with the success rates universities had implementing previous programs. The funding is also partially decided based on a performance funding formula created by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Rep. Goodin said. The formula for funding changes each budget cycle. Sen. Kenley said appropriations are also decided based on the budget that has been given to the university in the past, the number of students that attend the university, and the type of university. Ball State received more money for the implementation of the entrepreneurial learning program that began in 2015 under Ferguson, Sen. Kenley said. With three presidents in three years, and a search for a new one, it’s likely that future state appropriations will take a closer look at the way Ball State is using its money before giving more. Once universities receive money from the state, they are required to submit a reconciliation report once a month showing a line-item budget on how the money was spent. In 2017, state funding for Ball State will be $152.6 million



BALL STATE VS. OTHER INDIANA UNIVERSITIES This graphic compares total cost of tuition, housing, fees, and expenses per academic year at different public universities in Indiana. This information was provided to College Board in its 2015 annual survey, and assumes on-campus residency and “full-time student” status, which is generally enrollment in 12 or more credit hours. In addition to having one of the lowest total costs in

Indiana, The price of Ball State ranks relatively low nationally when compared to other Mid-American Conference schools. Penn State was repoted by U.S. News & World Report to have the highest total cost of any public university in the United States.


Total tuition and fees in thousands of dollars 30


Indiana average $18,240














Total tuition and fees in thousands of dollars



40 30

Indiana average $27,590



$34,363 $28,683





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graphic: tyson bird sources: and university websites

This graphic compares total cost of tuition, housing, fees, and expenses per academic year at different public universities. In-state

Total tuition and fees in thousands of dollars





U.S. average $18,820











PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY *Although not a MAC university, Penn State is the most expensive public school.


Total tuition and fees in thousands of dollars


50 40








30 U.S. average $23,890 20





TUITION OF A TYPICAL UNDERGRADUATE Ball State charges undergraduate full-time, in-state students a flat rate tuition fee of $3,771 and around another $1,000 in fees each semester. Out-of-state students are charged a flat rate of $11,530 in tuition, as long as they take at least one main campus course. Additionally, there are different fees for different programs, which can be a little over $100 to several hundred dollars. For example, if a student takes seven or more credit hours in the architecture department, that fee will be $550. Students may also be charged for taking certain courses. Music courses, for example, charge an extra $11 per credit hour. Glass courses charge an extra $110 per credit hour. These expenses are strictly tuition and fees for the 2015-2016 academic year. The thousands of dollars listed don’t take into account the thousands more students will pay for room and board and other living expenses, which are costly for both in-state and out-of-state students. Out-of-state students typically pay more in tuition than in-state students do because in-state students and their parents have been paying taxes in the state, while out-ofstate students haven’t. Thomas said that many institutions have resorted to recruiting more out-of-state students in order to increase their revenue, because of the significantly higher amount out-of-state students typically pay. Around 13 percent of Ball State’s students are out-of-state.

HOW BALL STATE USES ITS MONEY We know Ball State has departments funded entirely through student fees, and others funded through a general fund. More than 30 different revenue sources contribute to the general fund, such as state money and student tuition and fees. Graduation fees, for example, made up $100,000 of the general fund in 2016. Course fees made up more than $3.2 million. The general fund is then used to run around 150 areas of the university, such as the office of the president, the board of trustees, Pruis Hall, the Career Center, and staff benefits.

30 •

The most recent audit report of Ball State does not state the total amount in the general fund. The report mentions the general fund one time, when explaining that one percent of the general fund is reserved for unforeseen circumstances, like weather. One percent. We know what one percent of the fund is: $3.4 million. Therefore, in 2014, the general fund was around $337 million. In 2016, the fund is $345.1 million. This $345 million doesn’t fund everything. Some departments are not funded through the general fund, such as the Student Health Center, which is sustained through the health fee students pay each semester. A public records request response stated the health center is completely funded through student fees. When a request for a list of departments also funded entirely through student fees was placed, the Budget Office representatives said they were unable to provide a list of departments funded entirely through student fees. Therefore, it’s implied that the student health center is the only area of the university completely funded by a single student fee. Students can infer that most departments are funded through a combination of revenues, such as student tuition, fees, donations, and state money. But students shouldn’t have to guess. The most recent audit report states that 66 percent of Ball State’s money is spent on salaries, 24 percent on operating expenses, and 1 percent on student aid payments. It isn’t surprising that a majority of money is spent on salaries, considering former President Ferguson was paid $75,000 just to take a two month sabbatical and made more than $450,000 a year prior to his resignation. Operating expenses aren’t specifically listed in the report. However, it says that operating expenses are all costs necessary to fulfill the primary purposes of the university. “Other” supplies and expenses include basic office supplies, insurance, postage, software, and travel expenses, to name a few. Around $6.7 million was spent on student services between 2013 and 2014, according to the Functional Expenses listed in the report. These services most likely include the health center, counseling center and other services at the university that students have free access to. Another $97.1 million was spent on instruction, and $39.4 million on institutional support. The report is not specific as to what exactly these areas are. Although many things can be inferred, such as instruction being instructor salaries, not all expenses are clear.

GENERAL FUND BUDGET General Fund budgeted revenue for the 2016 fiscal year:


$345,189,301 2015



$ 337,018,314 Below are three other areas of the university that student money contributed for the 2014-2015 academic year.


Student recreation fees


Recreation: Non-credit


Student service fee


Orientation Fee


Late Nite


Student service fee


Student Affairs General Fund Support


Campus Activities Fund


University Program Board


Number of visits to the Health Center in 2014-2015


Students served in the Counseling Center in 2014-2015






(throuh Jan) $1,061,072

sources: ball state public records request

A STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE As an out-of-state student, Micah Sargent had to take out loans to afford an education. The ensuing debt caused Micah to work two years before returning to college. story: hannah sordyl | photo: maggie kenworthy icah Sargent, a senior general studies major, has struggled to afford college. Micah started at Ball State University in the fall of 2011 and was part of the 13 percent out-of-state on-campus students attending the university. Because she was not an Indiana resident, she was paying about $11,269 for tuition and fees, compared to $4,279 for in-state students. “I think it’s ridiculous how expensive school is, especially for out of staters. I think schools should be proud to have attraction from different states and not deter them because of the cost,” Micah said. Because tuition prices are so high, Micah, like most college students, was forced to take out loans to cover the cost of attending Ball State. One of these loans covered $7,000 of her cost of attendance, and was through a loan lender provided by Ball State. This became an issue, though, when this particular lender didn’t come through for an unknown reason. Ball State did not notify Micah of her $7,000 bill until there were two weeks left of the fall 2011 semester. Being so late in the semester, there were not any other loan lenders that were available to give her the money, nor did Ball State do much to help her. “The financial aid office advised me to get a personal loan,” Micah said, “but because I was now $7,000 in debt I couldn’t get one.” Ball State refused to allow

Micah to attend classes the following semester until her debt was paid off. They refused to release her transcripts in order for her to take classes elsewhere. This left Micah trapped and drowning in student debt before she had even finished her degree. After exhausting all of her options, Micah was forced to move home after the fall 2011 semester and begin working in order to pay off the debt. Not only did she owe Ball State, but she was also in the middle of a lease when she had to move back to Pennsylvania. This meant she had to pay her rent for the rest of the year. With the cost of her rent along with the loan that fell through, Micah was out of school for two years. After consistently working three jobs for two years, Micah was still left $1,000 short, and her degree was still at a standstill. It was then that her father decided to pay off the rest of her bill in order to get his daughter back in school so she could finish her degree. After becoming an Indiana resident in order to save on tuition, Micah says she has not had any issues since returning to Ball State, but that doesn’t mean she has forgotten about her challenges with the university. “If costs were cheaper, I wouldn’t have had to take that time off and could’ve graduated on time, and could have had a couple of years of experience in a career by now,” Micah said. “So if anything, it’s just pushing back the rest of my life from starting.” Five years after starting at Ball State as a sophomore, Micah will finally be graduating in December of 2016 and will finally be ready to start her life after college.


I wouldn’t have had to take that time off and could’ve graduated on time, and could have had a couple of years of experience in a career by now.”


COMPARING STUDENT FEES A comparison of three Indiana universities in student health and counseling services, and other student fees



Health Center

Health Center

Health Center

• No up-front charge for doctor consultation, but there are charges for medication, supplies, and other procedures

• Medical & Women’s Clinic: $10 per visit (prevention-oriented), • $25 per visit (routine check-up)

• No limit on visits; free • Prescriptions and lab tests are not included in the fee

Hours of operation: Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Hours of operation: Monday, Thursday, Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday: 9 a.m. - 6:30 pm

Walk-ins: $5 fee/visit Immunizations: Range from $10 - $317 Physician appointments: Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Counseling Center Site says no charges up front for the UCC Hours of operation: Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Student Fees Technology: $125 Health Center access: $75 Student activity: $47.50

The report is full of vague explanations that require carefully analyzing the 85 page document to fully understand it. The academic jargon in the report is not readerfriendly, which only makes the financing of Ball State seem less transparent and more secretive. The report doesn’t state the amount of money students contribute to other free student services such as Friday Night Filmworks hosted by University Program Board (UPB), Late Nite, and athletic events, like football games. Although these services feel free, they aren’t. Fees for these areas of the university aren’t listed in student tuition and fees specifically, but students still pay for them. The student services fee, which cost students $647 each semester between

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Counseling Center Entitles student to 2 visits (excluding psychiatry) $25 per visit after first 2 visits


Counseling Center Entitles student to 12 free visits per calendar year

Hours of operation: Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Hours of operation: Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Student Fees

Student Fees

Technology: $189.75 Transportation: $64.60 Student health: $111.54 Activity: $101.79

Technology: $168 Transportation: $50 Student health: $76 Recreation: $87

2014 and 2016, contributes more than $121,000 toward UPB, which then hosts events like Friday Night Filmworks. It also contributes more than $349,000 to Late Nite, and more than $11.4 million toward intercollegiate athletics. The student services fee is the biggest source of revenue for athletics – $10.4 million more than ticket sales, corporate sales, and concession sales combined. Overall, student money accounted for 55 percent of the total funding for intercollegiate athletics for the 2014-2015 academic year. Students contribute more to the budget for intercollegiate athletics than the funding given to the health and counseling center combined – both areas students often voice complaints about.

A SERVICE FUNDED THROUGH THE GENERAL FUND Squeezed into the corner of the room, as physically close to the wall as he could be, Andrew Arthur scrolled through Facebook for what seemed like the hundredth time. He wanted to be anywhere but here – in the crowded lobby of Meridian Health Services in Muncie. He mechanically refreshed the screen. His anxiety growing worse the longer he waited. It had been almost two hours, and he still hadn’t had his intake done to be

UPB AND LATE NITE ATTENDANCE FIGURES LATE NITE 40000 35000 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0

UPB 15,878 attendees

16,526 attendees 30000 25000 20000 15000

$1,335,000 Indirect Cost Federal

5000 2011- 2012- 2013- 2014- Fall 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015

scheduled with a new therapist. Andrew, a senior at Ball State, has anxiety and depression, along with stress from his two majors: architecture and Spanish. A lot of things cause his anxiety to flare up, but one thing in particular is the lobby of Meridian. “It feels like you’re going into a shark tank,” Andrew said. This morning while he waited, people shouted at one another across the room. They encroached on his personal space and his sense of security. Large crowds in a small space is a major trigger for his anxiety. He had had enough – but he couldn’t leave. After returning for the Fall 2015 semester, Andrew was told his therapist had retired, and he would have to go through intake again – a tedious process that required arriving at 8 a.m. just to ensure he would be seen. He tried the Ball State Counseling Center before putting himself in this situation, though. He had only ever heard bad things about the counseling center, but he needed his medication changed. He needed help with his anxiety and depression. He needed to get an appointment as soon as possible. It was here that he was met with a road block on his quest for counseling. Unless he had an emergency, he wouldn’t be seen at BSU for around a month. He couldn’t wait a month, even if his situation wasn’t considered an emergency. He settled for Meridian Health Services, even though the Ball State Counseling Center is free. “It’s not built to be an easy process,” Andrew said. “Everything’s pushing against you.” Like Andrew, many students have expressed concern over the appointment wait time at the Ball State Counseling Center. This has left many students wondering why it is difficult to receive important health services that are free and

The general fund is a combination of revenue sources and is used to fund different areas of the university. Below is the general fund budgeted revenue for the 2016 fiscal year. $48,000 Gift Grant Corp

10000 0


$257,000 Indirect Cost State 2011- 2012- 2013- 20142012 2013 2014 2015

Fall 2015

assumed to be readily available. For the 2014-2015 academic year, more than 1,600 students used the counseling center, many of whom probably had more than one counseling appointment. The website for the counseling center has conflicting information on the average number of appointments, which is either four or five. It also has conflicting information on whether or not the twelve free sessions are for calendar year or academic year. However, these free sessions still amount to better than what some Indiana colleges offer. In 2015, the counseling center received around $1.4 million from that year’s $339.9 million general fund. That is less than one percent.

$151,442,051 Instr Fee $37,210,293 Non-Resident Fee Not available Graduate Credit Fee Not available Distance Education $3,263,150 Course Fees $810,000 Undergraduate Admission Fees $126,742, 536 State Gov Appropriations Cur Oper $12,956,631 State Gov Appr Academic Bldg Fact Not available State Gov Appr Lab School $709,280 BSU Foundation $135,000 Indirect Cost State $50,000 Student Aid Ind Cost Rec $127,000 EDA Sales & Service Non Taxable: $40,000 OR Duplicating $100,000 Graduation Fees $7,000 Insurance Student Nurses


$50,700 EDA Rental Non Taxable $60,000 OR Loss & Breakage $700,000 OR Steam Sales: $162,500 OR Library Fines & Lost Books $300,000 OR Transcript Fees

The Ball State Student Health Center is funded entirely through the student health fee, which was $76 per semester for the 2015-2016 academic year. The health center is then free for students to use. No limit exists on the number of appointments students are allowed, and students are not charged additional money unless they need a test done or require a prescription. Like the counseling center, it’s not uncommon to hear students voice complaints about the health center – especially about the wait time. For Mackenzie Robinson, a sophomore at Ball State, the prolonged wait she endured caused her a lot of physical pain. She asked to be seen as soon as possible because of her discomfort.

$140,000 OR Salvage Sales Non Taxable $1,222,894 OR Other Revenue $250,000 IntraUniversity Sales Non Taxable $350,000 Labor Reimbursement $12,000 Investment Income $386,000 Installment Plan Fee $12,000 OR Return Check Fee $386,000 OR Late Charges $400,000 OR Other Revenue $2,950,000 IntraUniversity Sales Non Taxable $,1,54,092 OR Medical Education Reimbursement $163,174 Transfer In


The price of college and the consequences of less funding

THOMAS HARNISCH DIRECTOR OF STATE RELATIONS AND POLICY ANALYSIS Thomas Harnisch is the director of state relations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He helps to plan the Higher Education Government Relations Conference and helps to create the AASCU Public Policy Agenda. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate from The George Washington University. His research includes state higher education finance, access, and affordability. He has been referenced in Time Magazine, Politico, Bloomberg, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, Washington Monthly. FOLLOW HIM

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Can you explain the difference between the cost of college and the price of college?

Are there any other long term implications to the current way higher education is financed?

The cost of college is how much it costs to educate a student. The price of college is what the students actually pay. That’s the tuition prices. Your cellphone that you have, it costs a certain amount for the company to produce. But then it was priced at a different level. So it’s a lot like that. One of the reasons that the price is lower at public higher education is because the state comes in and subsidizes. So it costs more to provide for and educate a student than what they pay in tuition. The difference is made up through the subsidy — the funding that the state provides. And so, as the state provides less funding, students and family have to pay more in tuition.

The increased student debt. But also, for some students, they may look at tuition rates now and say: ‘hey, you know what, college just isn’t affordable. We just can’t do this.’ There’s been a lot of effects. Students are working more. They’re working a job or two just to make ends meet. So they’re not focusing on their studies as much as they are on just trying to pay their bills. That’s an issue right there. Institutions have been effected pretty considerably, too. Remember that if the state goes and says we’re going to cut higher education by 300 million dollars, that doesn’t mean they’re going to raise tuition enough to cover that 300 million dollars. That would just price all the students out of college. They have had to make cuts. There are fewer academic programs, they have greater reliance on adjunct faculty, and numerous other consequences. College presidents have been very careful to make the cuts in a way that doesn’t affect the academic side of the university. But it’s very difficult to do that, simply because most of college expenses are in salaries and benefits.

Students are graduating with more debt because of the increased price of college. How will this debt impact their futures? The increased tuition prices due to state funding cuts have led to growing student debt. So you have a whole new generation of college graduates, and folks who haven’t graduated college as well, that have fairly significant student debt loads. And I’m not sure how prepared we are to deal with this. In most cases, the student debt load for undergraduate students attending public colleges is fairly manageable. It’s not a crisis for them so much as it is an annoyance. But for some students, they didn’t finish college, or they got over their head with student debt. So for them, it’s going to be very difficult to make a down payment on a house or afford other things because they have so much student debt. And this is a problem that’s particularly pronounced in the for-profit college industry. So students who have attended for-profit colleges generally have a much higher student debt load.

Why do universities benefit from having a broad cross section of students? It comes down to diversity. You want to have a diverse student body so that all perspectives are on the table. Students from low income backgrounds will be able to provide a certain perspective. Students really learn from each other and they should go to courses where the students have different ideas and perspectives on issues. If you don’t have any low income students, that’s a big perspective that you’re missing.

Would the value of a degree go down if the cost per student spent by universities went down? It depends on the institution. Right now we have a situation where the research institutions are spending more per student. The state colleges are relatively flat, and the community colleges have actually gone down and don’t pay as much per student. The issue is that at some level, the quality of the university will be affected by the spending per student. And so, over the last five years or so, there has been less spending per student. There are fewer programs now. And there are fewer tenured faculty members. And so you have a hard time attracting the best and the brightest faculty members if you’re not able to pay for them. There are initiatives out there — ways of using technology — that are being explored as ways to lower the cost of educating a student, while also providing a high quality education. So there are models out there that are being explored, but the problem that you run into is that at some point you get what you pay for. If you don’t spend very much per student, you have to ask yourself what is the quality of the education they are getting? *Responses have been edited for clarity and accuracy

A visit Mackenzie expected to take two hours at the most ended up taking more than three. She was late to class, she was annoyed, and she was furious about her wait. But there was nothing she could have done to change the situation. Students who visit the health center can expect to block off a few hours for the appointment. Like Mackenzie, most students say the wait is usually longer than expected before they are seen by a nurse or doctor. With more than 29 employees, including practitioners and support staff, the health center sees around 140 students each day, according to Lisa Kennedy, a practice administrator at the health center. For the 2014-2015 academic year, there were more than 23,000 visits to the health center. Only five physicians are on staff, along with five nurse practitioners – one of whom works only one day a week. The large number of students that visit each day and only a fraction of that number in employees means that a wait is to be expected. The health center received more than $2.2 million for the 2015-2016 academic year, and the same amount for the 20142015 academic year. Completely funded by students, the health center receives more money than counseling center does through the general fund.

EDITOR’S NOTE: STUDENTS DESERVE TRANSPARENCY Like Andrew, who needed counseling services through Ball State but couldn’t get them, or Mackenzie, who spent three hours at the health center for a minor problem, students are paying for services and they expect them to be available and beneficial. It is not feasible that the university allocates extensive amounts of money to these services. But student physical and mental health are arguably more important than other areas that receive more funding, like athletic events that have low student turnout. Tuition rises as state funding declines. Student tuition and fees make up the bulk of revenue for Ball State, as it does for other public colleges and universities across the country. Because of that, the financing of Ball State should be available to students in an understandable and specific format.

Ball State spends its money to keep the university functioning, to pay salaries, and to provide services to students. The revenues and expenditures are available in the annual audit report, but the report is full of jargon and is not always easily understood. If students want to know specifics, their best bet is to file a public records request and hope that it is fulfilled. Although Ball State’s website has an entire page dedicated to financial transparency, it still doesn’t contain a line item budget about how money is spent, and whose money goes where. Rather it contains documents about university goals, presentations that have been given to the legislative committees that give Ball State money, staff salaries, and budget requests. That is not true financial transparency. Ball State students made it known that they wanted more transparency regarding Ferguson’s resignation. But many might not realize about the lack of transparency occurring elsewhere at the university, which also deserves their attention. Students alone are the ones who must live with the debt created by taking out loans to afford increased tuition and fees. They should not be kept in the dark about how Ball State uses that money.




TRUSTEES story: samantha stevenson | photo: jessika zachary


ome of the most powerful members of the university operate behind the scenes. Many students don’t know Ball State’s nine Board of Trustees members even though they make some of the most important decisions at Ball State.

Historically, boards of trustees at colleges and universities have operated unseen by the general public. As tuition prices continue to shoot up, more students and families have questions about their money, and who makes the decisions on how to use it. In 2012, The Association of Governing Boards released the 2012 AGB Survey of Higher Education Governance of 2,500 board members on their opinions of higher education. The results showed that trustees at universities and colleges are conflicted by the price of tuition and the cost of running their institutions, while also increasing the number of students graduating. At private universities, these members are typically elected by alumni or elected internally. Trustees at public universities are typically appointed by governors or legislatures. The Association of Governing Boards found that nearly a third didn’t receive any financial training. Of the nine trustees at Ball State, two are nominated or selected by the Ball State Alumni Association, one is a student, and the rest are appointed by the governor. All non-student members serve a four-year term, which is a non-paid position. According to the 2015 Financial Audit, no more than six of these non-student trustees may be of the same-sex

and one must be from Delaware county. On December 17, 2015, two of these members, Frank Hancock and Marianne Glick, submitted their resignation letters to the governor. President Ferguson’s resignation was approved only a month before. The opening of these positions creates concern for some people at the university because it allows for new members to come in who may influence change. While Frank highlights that fresh faces on the board will bring new ideas, some have a great fear in that, simply because there is no certainty on what those ideas could be. Because of how much money students are spending on the university, it is logical for there to be concerns about these men and women who have control over the education they are buying. Just like Ball State, Indiana University also has nine members on its Board of Trustees and Purdue has 10. Butler, a private university, has 28 Board of Trustees members. The generic responsibilities of the trustees listed on Ball State’s website allude to how much power these individuals have over Ball State and its community. Yet many students and community members don’t know who the trustees are, or who they are associated with.

HOW THE TRUSTEES GET APPOINTED Members are chosen according to specific guidelines

The Ball family has the right to choose one member to serve. As of now that is Thomas C. Bracken.

At least two members on the board must be Ball State Alumni.

After members that fit prior criteria, the governor has the freedom to choose candidates that he believes fit whatever position available. However, only six members are allowed to be of the same sex.

If a woman resigns, as Marianne Glick did this year, then the governor will look for a woman to fill the space and maintain diversity.


DUTIES OF THE TRUSTEES -Manage, control, and operate Ball State. -Borrow money, issue bonds, and award contracts -Prescribe conditions for admission of new students -Grant degrees and issue diplomas or certificates based on students meeting requirements -Set amounts for fees, charges, fines, and penalties. -Define the duties of and provide compensation for faculty and staff of the university. -Receive and administer all donations, bequests, grants, funds, and property that are given or provided to the university. -Possess all the powers in order to effectively operate the affairs of Ball State.

DUSTIN MEEKS Student Member According to the 2015 Audited Financial Report, one of the nine Board of Trustees members must be a full-time student. Dustin Meeks, a junior political science and communication student at Ball State, serves as the student representative on the board. He was appointed by Governor Mike Pence in 2015 after a process that starts with 22 applicants who have all sent in a resumé and essays regarding the position and Ball State. After an interview with various members of the Ball State community, the pool is narrowed down to six or seven students who receive an interview with the president of the university and vice president of student affairs. Dustin said he is treated as equally on the board as the non-student members. At the beginning of Dustin’s term, Rick Hall called him to let him know that his opinion was as valid as theirs, saying that Dustin was just as much a board member as he was. Dustin said his involvement on the board is proving to be beneficial to his future career. He said the other board members have done an incredible job of providing opportunities for him.

38 •


Rick Hall is the current chair of the board. He was elected in January of 2014. He is a partner and member of the management committee at Barnes and Thornburg LLP. The firm’s gross revenue was $346,000,000 in 2014, $670,000 per lawyer and $835,000 profits per partner. Hall’s legal aspirations can also be seen in his past as he once served as law clerk to Judge Michael Kanne of the U.S. Court of Appeals, and worked with Senator Richard G. Lugar. He went to Northwestern but also earned his bachelor’s degree at Ball State in 1989. He currently lives in Carmel, Indiana.



MATT MOMPER Assistant Secretary


On December 17, 2015, Frank Hancock and Marianne Glick resigned from their positions, saying that their reasonings were purely personal. In Frank Hancock’s letter, he said that while “continuity on the board is good, fresh faces, new ideas, and term limits are also very much needed for any organization to prosper and improve.” He went on to highlight that he felt it was necessary to do “in the best interests of Ball State.” Marianne Glicks’s resignation letter asks for relief from serving on the board because she felt her time and efforts would be better on Ivy Tech’s state board.


FRANK HANCOCK Resigned Member


E. Renae Conley not only received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Miller College of Business, but she is also included the college’s Hall of Fame. She has a background in accounting and business administration. Currently, she is the CEO of ER Solutions, LLC. She previously served as the CEO for Entergy New Orleans, Inc. In 2008, Forbes named her as the 29th highest paid woman in corporate America with a one-year compensation of $7,908,113. She was elected vice president of the board in January 2016.


Thomas C. Bracken is in the fourth generation of the Ball family to serve on the Board of Trustees. He was elected in January of 2014. He has been a software engineer and creator of Auto Build Assemblies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford and a master of business administration from the University of Chicago. Staying close to the university, Bracken lives in Muncie with his wife and children.


Matt Momper is currently the president of Momper Insulation. The company’s annual revenue ranges from $5-10 million. Momper Insulation serves as a branch off of the company he served as regional

MARIANNE GLICK Resigned Member

manager for: Installed Business Products. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Ball State. He is also the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award. Momper also serves on the Miller College of Business’ Executive Advisory Board and the Ball State Foundation Board of Directors.


R. Wayne Estopinal is president of an architectural firm, The Estopinal Group LLC. This group is now known as TEG Architects. He received two bachelor’s degrees from Ball State, one in architecture and one in environmental design. Coincidentally, his architecture is now inhabited by Ball State students everyday, as TEG Architects’ portfolio includes the L.A. Pittenger Student Center. According to his firm’s website, they completed a 60,000 sq. ft. renovation with an interior refurbishment. An article in Louisville Business First reported his company has had its rough patches, as its revenue dropped from $18 million in 2008, to $9.7 million in 2011 – the same year he became a trustee.


Hollis E. Hughes Jr. was president and chief executive officer of the United Way of St. Joseph County before his retirement in 2007. He received both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Ball State University. He also serves Ball State with his involvement with Ball State

University Foundation, the Alumni Council, and the Black Alumni Constituent Society Board of Directors.


Frank Hancock was the vice chair of the board. He has been a part of the board since 2006 and he earned his degree in 1970. He is president of the school board for the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township. He is involved in various organizations surrounding the Indianapolis area, serving as a board member for the Indianapolis Zoo, Ball State Alumni Association, Indianapolis 500 Festival, Community Hospital Foundation, and Indiana Pacers Foundation. He owns and founded Sports Graphics Inc.


Marianne Glick was elected as the assistant secretary of the board of trustees in January 2014. She is the president and owner of Glick Art and the retired president of Glick Training Associates Inc. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Family Foundation, the Gene B. Glick Company, the Central Indiana Community Foundation, United Way of Central Indiana, and the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in educational psychology from Butler University. A skilled artist, Glick is known for her paintings and donating them to various charities.



Funding the Ride While many students struggle to afford college, some pay with scholarships.


story: miller kern | illustration: stacie kammerling

othing. Nothing exciting was happening in the Fulling household. Janie’s dad was out of town on a business trip so she and her mom decided to grab a quick meal at a cheap Mexican restaurant. Just as they were heading out the door, the phone rang. Janie’s mom went back to answer it. “Hi, is Janie Fulling there?” Her mom looked puzzled, but handed the phone to her daughter Janie anyway. “Hello?” Janie said. “Hi, Janie. I just wanted to tell you that you have been awarded the Whitinger scholarship,” an official at Ball State University’s honors college said.

“Thank you,” Janie said politely and hung up the phone. She was trying to process what she just heard. “What was that about?” her mom asked. “I got the Whitinger scholarship,” Janie replied, showing little emotion. She was still in shock. Her mom screamed and jumped up and down. “Do you still want to get Mexican food or do you want to go somewhere fancier?” “Really, I just want Mexican food,” Janie said. At the time, Janie was still undecided in her college choice. She didn’t realize how much that phone call would impact her college career.

Each year, 10 outstanding honors students receive the most prestigious scholarship Ball State offers: the Whitinger Scholarship. This scholarship awards each recipient with full coverage of tuition and room and board that is renewable for eight semesters. The Whitinger Scholarship is just one scholarship among the more than 500 categories Ball State University awards each year. More than 75 percent of Ball State students receive financial aid to cover the cost of college. The university awards over $260 million in scholarships each year. This does not include the amount of money students receive from scholarships not affiliated with Ball State. Universities receive grants from the state and national level governments. Aside from government assistance, Ball State has its own scholarship fund and also receives money from alumni and other donors. Scholarship money comes from four primary sources: the federal government, state government, the university, and private donors. Federal and state money is supposed to help students in need of financial aid. This money typically comes in the form of grants or loans. Most of Ball State scholarship money comes from the institution and over 1,400 different private donor funds. Because most of the money does not come from the government, the majority of Ball State’s scholarships are merit-based rather than need-based. Minority students are less likely to receive merit-based grants or private scholarship than white students, according to Student Aid Policy Analysis by Mark Kantrowitz. Minority students represent about a third of scholarship applicants, but make up only a little more than a quarter of private scholarship recipients. Caucasian students receive more than 76 percent of all institutional merit-based scholarship and grant funding, while representing less than 62 percent of the student population. Caucasian students are 40 percent more likely to receive private scholarships than minority students. The Board of Trustees and the president determine the scholarship budget. If they want a more diverse campus, they will push more scholarships focused on diversity. Ball State offers diversity scholarships for all students and also specifically for students in

each department of the school. Ball State uses scholarships to mold the class it wants. The institution raises standards and targets high-ability students. This is why Ball State offers so many more freshman scholarships compared to returning student scholarships. The university tries to attract high-ability high school seniors to join the Ball State community, John McPherson, assistant vice president of enrollment services, said. One freshman scholarship is automatically distributed. The Presidential Scholarship is awarded when students receive their admission letters. For in-state students, this equals $4,500 per year, or $18,000 over the course of eight semesters. Out-of-state students receive $12,000 a year, equal to $48,000 over the course of an undergraduate education. Prior to Fall 2012, presidential scholars received a waiver that covered half of tuition costs, not including special fees, such as Health Center fees and late charges. Students must retain a 3.0 GPA to keep the scholarship. “You look at what type of student body you want and plan from there,” John said. By 2018, 60 percent of jobs in America will require post-secondary education, according to a study by Scholarship America. This means the job market will be more competitive than it has been in the past. On average, student loan borrowers graduate with $35,000 in student loan debt according to the Student Aid Policy Analysis by Mark Kantrowitz. America’s total student loan debt is more than $1 trillion. The average bachelor’s degree holder takes 21 years to pay off his or her student loan debt. Scholarships can save students years of payments. The Whitinger Scholarship is aimed toward building an academically sound class. Since requirements for the Whitinger Scholarship are so intense, only the top students receive it. Their academic records bring up the average standard of the class. Because of this, Whitinger recipients see plenty of benefits. Janie has gone over the 18 credit hour maximum twice and the credits have still been covered by her scholarship. When Whitinger scholars move off campus, they still receive financial help to cover housing. What would be used for room and board is given to the scholars in

the form of a stipend. Janie uses hers to pay rent and utilities and to buy groceries. While Whitinger scholars use scholarship money to cover education costs, this is not common in America. Nationwide, only about one in 20 undergraduate students and one in eight full-time bachelor’s degree students at a four-year college pay for college with private scholarships, according to the Student Aid Policy Analysis. Athletics are treated similar to academics. A coach receives money – the amount varies each year – to distribute as he wants. Most coaches will put the money toward recruiting freshmen. Like academics, athletics want to build a profile with each incoming class if they have to be competitive with other schools. Departmental scholarships are then used to retain athletes. When it comes to private donors, the scholarship office has little control over the money. The donors decide where they want their money to go. Sometimes the donors get minutely specific with their scholarship requirements. For example, someone might give $1,000, but the recipient must be someone from the donor’s hometown who is going to college to study in the same major as the donor. The Ball State University Foundation is a separate, not-for-profit corporation that solicits, collects, and invests donations to benefit Ball State University. The money raised by the foundation goes toward scholarships, faculty, and campus programs. In its 2015 fiscal year, the foundation managed $234 million in assets; $14 million of which went to Ball State. Since its establishment in 1951, the foundation has given more than $357 million to Ball State, according to Ball State’s website. Scholarships don’t just provide financial aid to students. Sometimes they also provide opportunity. Because of her Whitinger Scholarship, Janie was selected to be in a class that ended with a field study in Italy. Some of her classmates had applied for the Whitinger but did not receive the scholarship. But because they applied, they were chosen for the class. The class and the trip have given Janie some of her closest friends. She’s grateful for the money and not having to pay tuition, but the experiences she’s had because of her scholarship far outweigh anything else.


Ball State awards more than 500 scholarships each year to students for academic, athletic, creative achievement, and leadership. Excluding the Whitinger Scholarship, here are 18 other scholarship categories. HONORS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS

10 honors college freshman are awarded a full ride scholarship. Additional scholarships, fellowships, and internships are available through the honors college.


The award is $1,000 per year and is renewable each year as long as the recipient maintains a 2.7 GPA. Offered to students of journalism; preference given to minorities.


Available to high school seniors who have shown leadership in extracurricular activities and in their communities. Amount varies each year.


$1,000 is given to students who advocate social justice with regard to race, ethnicity, economic status, national origin, disability, gender, sexual identity, age, or religious viewpoints.


MSEP offers $11,000 to students from Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin in order to reduce the cost of out-of-state tuition.


The Indiana Commission for Higher Education scholarship for black and Hispanic individuals looking to be a teacher, recipients must teach in Indiana for at least three years after graduation.

FRESHMAN SCHOLARSHIPS Awards incoming freshmen with outstanding talent, leadership, and academic achievement


Award is $2,500/yearfor a stuent who was in foster care.


Award for freshmen who graduated from high schools in Delaware County and grants up to the value of full tuition and room and board.


A $4,000 grant offered exclusively to students who have graduated high school at least one year early


Subcategories of this scholarship include National Merit Scholars, National Achievement Scholars and National Hispanic Scholars, all worth $5,000


Available for high school seniors only. In-state recipients receive a total of $18,000 (spread over four years), while in-state students will receive $12,000


Available for both in-state and out-of-state transfer students, with the largest scholarship offering $4,500 for two years


Awarded or cosponsored annually by the Alumni Association.


Award given to minority Indiana residents who maintain a 3.0 GPA


Awards minority, out-of-state high school seniors with a 3.0 cumulative GPA for the equivalent of in-state tuition rates.


$500 tuition credit awarded to Indiana residents completing a bachelors degree within four years as a first-time, full-time student.


Academic departments and organizations offer scholarships to students majoring or minoring in the subject, based on merit or need source:

42 •

graphic: stacie kammerling



recieve the Whitinger Scholarship each year.

Recipients : • Are first-time Honors College freshmen, fall semester • Maintain at least a 3.70 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale in academic college preparatory courses (academic GPA as calculated by Ball State’s Office of Admissions) • Acheive a minimum SAT composite score of 1950, including a minimum of 600 on each of the three sub-scores: critical reading, math, and writing; or a minimum ACT composite of 29, including a minimum of 26 on the ACT math, English, and writing subscores


Textbook Trade-Off The price of textbooks has increased by over 1,000 percent over the past four decades, leaving some students looking for alternatives.

BEAT TEXTBOOK PRICES PRICE MATCH ADVANTAGE: Ball State’s on-campus bookstore price matches with online competitors Amazon, Chegg, and up to 7 days after purchasing a textbook from the store and refunds the difference.

story: carli scalf


oing into her second semester of college, freshman nursing major Lauren Brannick knew that in addition to covering the cost of tuition and housing, she would have to grapple with yet another steep expense: the cost of her textbooks. “This is an issue especially for nursing majors,” she explained, “because you 100 percent need the book to pass, and any one textbook can be upwards of $200.” Lauren is one of several thousand college students who will have to put aside a large chunk of money for textbooks this semester: according to the College Board, the annual cost of books and supplies will hover around $1,200. It’s no secret that college textbooks are costly, but what surprises students and experts alike is how exponentially the price of textbooks has increased over a short period of time. The price of textbooks has increased by 1,041 percent over the last four decades, according to a review by NBC News of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. This increase is over three times the rate of inflation over that same time period. “More than any other consumer item, even medical care, houses, consumer costs, anything, nothing has gone up faster in price than college tuition and textbooks,” said Mark J. Perry, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan-Flint. There are several factors at play that make the textbook market so uniquely expensive. For one, the market is unique because the customer, the student, is removed from the purchasing decision. As Mark explained, “It’s kind of a flawed market because the professor decides on a book that the student is supposed to buy and assigns that book, so the person selecting the book isn’t the one paying for it.” Because of this separation between customer and product, the textbook market has been compared to the price hiking phenomenon that exists in the pharmaceutical market. Textbook companies have also been releasing new editions of their

textbooks closer together, typically coming out with updated versions every two years instead of every four according to Mark. This can be interpreted as an attempt to get rid of the secondary market that comes from the sale of used books. The increased speed in publishing has affected Lauren’s ability to resell her books. “Paying $700 for books a semester is excessive considering I won’t use them after the semester ends, and I can’t resell them due to the constant changing of editions,” she says. Though the economics may sound grim, students are finding ways to combat the high prices of textbooks. Some students photocopy sections to share with peers, while others share books with a roommate or friends. Many college libraries have also begun to support students by keeping a variety of textbooks in stock; students can check-out the books for a two or three-hour period for studying or assignments. Lauren believes she does everything she can to reduce prices on her textbooks. “My roommate and I share our textbooks and split the cost since we have pretty much the same classes. What I absolutely can’t share, I try to rent used versions, and then inevitably [buy] manuals and lab workbooks new.” Professors have also become aware of the surging prices. Colleen Steffen, an instructor in the Ball State department of journalism, said that her colleagues are concerned about the cost of books and take price into consideration when choosing a textbook. Some classes within her department have moved away from requiring a textbook at all, instead using resources found on the internet. Ultimately, Mark believes that the current market model can’t truly sustain itself, because at some point, full-time students will no longer be able to afford books no matter how much they need them. However, as the complicated economic machine drives the textbook market, Lauren and other students like her will continue to find creative ways to fight the rising prices.

DISADVANTAGE: The bookstore only price matches with online competitors Amazon, Chegg, and

COMPARE ONLINE ADVANTAGE: There are several websites such as Amazon and Chegg that sell new, used, and rental books. DISADVANTAGE: Prices vary and comparing websites can be time consuming.

BUY USED ADVANTAGE: Buying used is usually cheaper and more environmentally friendly. DISADVANTAGE: Used books can come with notes and highlights from the previous owner.

RENT ADVANTAGE: Renting textbooks saves a renter on average 50 percent compared to a new textbook. Renting also saves the extra hassle of selling back at the end of a semster. DISADVANTAGE: A renter may have to pay to replace the book if there are any damages obtained during the rental period.

SELL BACK ADVANTAGE: Selling textbooks back to bookstores at the end of a term can get students up to 50 percent back of the intial price. DISADVANTAGE: Not all textbooks are accepted by the bookstores depending on need or book condition. sources:, Barnes & Noble;, Phil Hill graphic: tiffany watt



Another Day, Another Swipe As the price of room and board increases, students raise questions about where their extra money goes. story: ben beckley and caleb conley | photo by: jessika zachary


essica Mauch, a sophomore elementary education major, tries to use as many of her fourteen meals as possible throughout the week. In fact, she sees it as a complete waste of money if she doesn’t use her whole meal swipe. Jessica said she takes out loans just to go to school, and finds it frustrating that she pays so much money for a meal plan just to have the extra money go to other places. Unlike many other universities that give students an option, Ball State requires students living on campus to purchase a meal plan when they sign their housing contract.




of students who take classes on campus reside within the residence halls


maximum amount spent on a meal with a meal plan


cheapest room and dining plan


starting cost of a dining plan for the incoming class of 2016-2017

44 •

Ball State University has 31 residence halls divided up between nine housing complexes on campus. Nearly 40 percent, or 7,550, of the students who take classes on campus reside within the residence halls or oncampus apartments, according to the Ball State website. Currently, there are 14 livinglearning communities on campus. These communities bring together students in similar majors, from business to STEM and from elementary education to theatre and dance. The LLC initiative was drafted as a way of providing a supportive environment for freshmen, specifically those who would be working in the same field.


Each academic year, the rate for room and board increases. The starting cost for an incoming student in the 2015-2016 academic year was $8,715. As of December 2015, that cost increased by 2.9 percent to $8,970 for the incoming class of 2016-2017. However, that starting cost is often in a room with no air conditioning and because meal plans are combined into the housing plan, a tenmeals-per-week plan with the addition of $100 Dining Plus every semester. This is the absolute bare minimum for moving onto campus. Rates spike after the minimum, though, surging to $9,537 for another four

meals a week and no change in the quality of the room. The only way to avoid an increase in housing costs is to sign up for the premium housing contract, which freezes the price at the initial rate and provides the bonus of a parking pass for the stadium. That benefit only lasts for an extra year. Room and board rates are decided based on an approval process. Each year, a committee from the university’s business affairs and student affairs divisions creates a proposal for residence hall room and board rates for the coming academic year. The outcome is a combination of “anticipated operating expenses, facility maintenance expenses, student programming, and other costs.” Final approval is given to the Board of Trustees after the proposal has been finalized by the committee.


As the price of meal plans continues to rise, many students wonder where that money is going. Operating costs for the residence halls and dining facilities take a good chunk of the money supplied to the offices. The operating expenses increased 4.6 percent over the past year, from about $444.6 million in 2014 to about $465.1 million in 2015. These costs include paying for food, utilities (both for dining services and residence halls), as well as additional campus services. Because Ball State is a state-funded school, much of funding comes from state appropriations and grants ($200.7 million). However, not every building on campus is supported by the state, which means the university sets aside money for stewardship and renewal of these non-state supported facilities. After conducting an independent study, the university came up with a strategic plan for the renewal of the facilities, setting aside three percent of total replacement value of non-state supported buildings each year. The total value for nonsupported structures is around $900 million. Approximately $98.5 million is allocated for stewardship of all non-state supported buildings, and $59.4 million is for repair and rehabilitation of residence and dining


DeHority opens



Park Hall opens

halls on campus, according to the 2015 Financial Report. This approach also allows the university to bring in new dining options around campus such as Chick-fil-A, Papa John’s, and Starbucks. Speaking of rehabilitation, the university has already begun - and plans to do more - renovations of residence halls. The Financial Report states that approximately $165 million is planned or underway for investment in renewal projects on nonstate-supported buildings between now and 2022. The university is also planning the construction of future residence halls to replace the aging LaFollette Complex. Students have already watched Johnson A be torn down and reconstructed over the last couple years, and Johnson B is in the works. How much did those renovations cost though? Johnson A cost the university $35.7 million over the course of its renovation. Johnson B is estimated at $40.1 million. The renovated baseball park and new addition to the football team’s training complex cost the university $5 million and $3.5 million respectively, while other facility constructions in planning, such as the expansion of Emens, will cost another $13.4 million.


Compared to other Indiana universities, Ball State is neither the highest nor the lowest in regards to the cost to its students for housing and dining. Using the lowest cost, a student applying would get a room in one of the older buildings (such as LaFollette) and a meal plan consisting of 10 meals throughout each week for $8,715 a year. IU’s cheapest plan is $9,795. However, they do not use a meals-per-week system. Instead, they have what are called “I-Bucks.” With 1,300 I-Bucks on this plan, Hoosier students are given about $3,250 in buying power for the whole year - buying power being an equivalent amount of real-world money. With ten meals a week on a Ball State plan (and assuming all ten meals are lunch or dinner, at $8.20 per meal),


Kinghorn opens

Johnson B Complex to open

Studebaker East opens


Johnson A Complex opens

a Ball State student has around $2,625 in buying power, disregarding dining plus. So while IU is around $1,000 more expensive, they have $625 more to spend on food throughout the semester on the cheapest plan. Purdue University has a cheaper option than Ball State. Their lowest housing and dining option is $6,628, but that only gives students eight meals per week.


Fall 2017


Ball State has delis, burgers, custom salads, fast food chains (such as Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, and Jamba Juice), convenience stores, breakfast foods, ethnic foods, and homestyle foods. Purdue University and Indiana University both have very similar choices of on-campus food as Ball State, but with closer and more numerous options of off-campus restaurants. In 2015, the Daily Meal, an online organization dedicated to providing information on the best food around the world, conducted a study on college dining experiences around the United States. Ball State ranked No. 58 on the list of the 75 best colleges for foodies. Purdue was ranked at No. 32, and IU was not listed. These rankings from The Daily Meal are based on different metrics, such as how nutritious and environmentally conscious the foods are, the diversity of foods, accommodation of dietary needs, how the university implements educational and food-centered events to spice up the dining experience, and access to off-campus options. The reviewers also have a category for the “X” factor, which consists of little extras that the university has to offer its students, such as professional chefs. Students pay a high amount for room and board here at Ball State, but in return the university offers expanded dining options, renovated housing, and keeps recreational activity facilities updated. While prices may increase, the increase is proportional to what the university loses in funding or in net financial position each year.


cheapest rent for a 1-bedroom university apartment (Anthony)


most expensive room and board plan

$35.7 million cost to renovate Botsford/ Swinford Hall

$16.9 million

cost of renovations to the Teachers College, which was completed in 2014

$465.1 million operating expenses for residence halls and dining facilities

$59.4 million

amount used specifically for repair and rehabilitation of residence and dining hall facilities on campus

$165 million planned or underway for renewal projects on facilities


number of new or extensively renovated residence hall complexes opened in the last decade



Calculating the Cost of College A typical in-state undergraduate student will pay $18,589 in tuition and fees each academic year. This breakdown looks at exactly where that money goes.

TUITION 2015-16 acemic year


UNDERGRADUATE tuition and fees 2015-2016 academic year



$7,698 per academic year

$174 per academic year

40.81% of total

Tuition (12-18 hours per semester)

.95% of total


Basic undergraduate tuition


for each credit hour over 18 NON-RESIDENTS

$23,472 per academic year



for each credit hour over 18

$8,715 per academic year 46.8% of total $10,244 For a regular double room and a 21 meal plan

46 •


full-time students

part-time students




$1,294 per academic year 6.9% of total $647 For 7+ credit hours for Fall/ Spring semester

$336 per academic year 1.8% of total


$100 per academic year .5% of total


FEES Mandatory Fees (based on 7+ credit hours) $647 $8.24

$120 per academic year

$13.21 $2.86

Student Services Fee


Admissions Applications

Late Nite



University Program Board

$55 $55 TBD

Recreation and Wellness Center

$270.05 Intercollegiate Athletics

$352.64 Other

.6% of total



Health Fee


Recreation Fee


Technology Fee


Transportation Fee


Residence Hall Technology Fee

Program Fees +$550

$152 per academic year

+$138 +$138 +$138

.82% of total

Miscellaneous Fees (per semester)

College of Architecture and Planning Fee (per semester) Journalism Fee Nursing Fee

Telecommunications Fee


TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD $25 $25 $50 $75 $140 $25 $12


International Credit by Exam Electronic Textbook Fees (Non-refundable) BIO 100 EDPS 520 JOUR 103 MATH 125 PSYS 100

Application for Graduation

Installment Enrollment Fee per Semester Ivy Tech Connect Late Payment Matriculation

Returned Check Service Charge Transcript



Indiana State University In-State Cost:

Purdue University In-State Cost:

Indiana University In-State Cost:

Butler University In-State Cost:





University of Notre Dame In-State Cost:

$64,525 47


Out of College, Out of Money Student debt continues to be one of the top concerns of college students. Here’s how Ball State students stack up in terms of debt. graphic: megan axsom and jeremy ervin | photo: maggie kenworthy

Ball State / average debt: $27,627 3,450 students recieve a bachelor’s degree in-state tuition and fees: $9,160


total cost of attendance: $22,250



received pell grants in 2013-2014

of debt is nonfederal debt

of graduates graduate with debt

Indiana University / average debt: $27,300 6,815 students receive a bachelor’s degree

total cost of attendance: $23,820




received pell grants in 2013-2014

of debt is nonfederal debt

of graduates graduate with debt









The average starting, yearly salary for the most popular majors at Ball State.


Breaking it down by majors


in-state tuition and fees: $10,209


average student debt for the class of 2015


students graduating from four-year colleges with student loans

$29,222 sources:;

48 •

Average debt of graduates in Indiana

LaFollette Complex (upper level)

L. A. Pittenger Student Center Taco Bell® (including breakfast) Starbucks® Salad & fruit bar Specialty lunch entrees Grill favorites Soups Homestyle favorites Freshly made sushi Grab-n-go salads, sandwiches, & wraps

Hubbard & Cravens® teas Espresso & specialty drinks Frozen blended drinks Fresh sandwiches Salads Pastries & cookies Fresh fruit Grab-n-go breakfast items

All-you-care-to-eat homestyle favorites & salad bar

Art & Journalism Building

Courtside (lower level) Custom subs, pastas & pizzas Salad & soup bar NEW! Hot daily breakfast Fresh fruit & veggies Chobani® yogurt bar Milkshakes

Burritos, quesadillas, nachos, & other Mexican fare Chips & salsa bar Custom-made salads Custom-made deli sandwiches Boar’s Head® meats & cheeses

Out of Bounds (lower level) Custom sandwiches Hot dogs & chili dogs Nachos Grilled chicken Grab-n-go sandwiches & salads Grill appetizers Freshly made sushi Grocery area

Papa John’s® pizza & wings Freshly made sushi Angus steakburgers Jumbo tenderloins 1/4-lb. all-beef hot dogs Specialty baked potatoes Onion rings Fresh fruit

Kinghorn Hall

Noyer Complex

Custom sandwiches & salads Create-your-own pastas Burgers, pizzas, & nachos Soups

Food Mall/Marketplace Salad bar Grill favorites Homestyle entrees Pasta dishes Stir-fry Paninis Custom-made deli sandwiches Soups Freshly made sushi Gourmet desserts Grocery area

Grocery & grab-n-go areas

Studebaker West Complex Grab-n-go sandwiches & salads Soups Microwavable entrees Pastries

Recreation & Wellness Center

Grocery area

Grocery area

Toasted sub sandwiches Salads & soups

The Retreat Lunch features a la carte entrées, salads, soups, & desserts only). Dinner is an all-you-care-

Hungry? Hours & menus at

Woodworth Complex Brick-oven pizzas Pasta entrees Mongolian grill Tacos & nachos Homestyle entrees Grill favorites Custom-made spinning salads Paninis & wraps Grab-n-go sandwiches & salads Fresh fruit Pastries & breakfast items Starbucks® Grocery area

Art & Journalism Building Smoothies made w/real fruit Energy-boosting blend-ins Wheat grass shots Teas Freshly squeezed juices Hot oatmeal

Southwest of Elliott Hall All-you-care-to-eat stir-fry, homestyle fare, grill, & salad bar

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