This past Thursday, October 6, our university announced with enthusiastic fanfare the official launch of the Reset and Reemerge Campaign. An effort to make education more Accessible, Affordable, and Applicable for current and future students.
“Our priority must always be to stay true to our mission and ensure our diverse and underserved populations can access and afford a quality education that transforms their lives and livelihood while protecting the university’s resources,” said President Sean Huddleston. “We are excited to announce and launch the campaign since we have been preparing for it for nearly two years. Now is the time to act and encourage all to be on board this game-changing initiative.”
The heart of the campaign is to make a quality Martin University education affordable by reducing tuition by up to 45 percent. Students are encouraged to enroll in courses and remain on track for graduation without accruing crippling student loan debt.
In addition, the university is identifying students who need financial help to finish their degrees and forgiving their balances held by Martin University up to $10,000 for those who qualify. President Biden’s one-time student loan debt relief plan is evidence of the challenges students face and are announced to assist them.
“We understand that there are many barriers that cause our students to stop short of graduating, and they can’t quite cross the finish line; one of the main barriers is affordability,” said Dr. Huddleston. “This campaign gives these students a guided path forward, so their education is both ‘accessible’ and ‘affordable.’ This campaign will allow us to become one of Indiana's most impactful and affordable universities.”
According to Bill Newell, Vice President of Finance and Administration, the university first needed to be sure the infrastructure was in place to sustain the change in tuition. ” We were diligent in our approach to be sure the university’s bottom line was unaffected by the tuition reduction and balance forgiveness, said Mr. Newell. “Federal assistance, cost-saving measures, diversifying revenue, and active fundraising makes the numbers work to our benefit.”
Dr. Kristie Johnson, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, added, “Our department can assist the campaign by taking advantage of every possible grant opportunity and through a loyal donor base that continues to make contributions to help students persist. Since the campaign has been in the planning stages for many months, our team has been part of the preparation. It has provided strategy so the campaign could become a reality and be financially sustainable.”
Also, to make Martin more “applicable” so students can be positioned for higher-paying careers, the university is opening its Martin WORKS apprenticeship program to all students and is enhancing its Prior Learning Assessment initiative (PLA), which offers credit for life and work experience.
Martin WORKS has become popular with companies desiring a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce. It allows students to be compensated while expanding their education and work resumes through apprenticeships, potentially leading to permanent positions with our “employer partners.” While the program was previously limited, the campaign opens Martin WORKS to all students with its placement rate of 92 percent.
The Reset and Reemerge Campaign was created because the Martin Board of Trustees wanted to respond to the White House’s push to reduce student loan debt and to ensure higher education is accessible, applicable, and affordable to all residents.
“I am grateful to our Board of Trustees for making this campaign possible and our faculty and staff, all of whom recognize the barriers our students face and understand how these barriers contribute to our student population’s inability to complete their education. Yet, all belief in our students and are passionate about teaching, supporting, and encouraging them in various ways, so their career lives. Communities are improved,” said Dr. Huddleston.
The October 6 campaign was launched at a press conference in the Father Boniface Hardin Gatherortorium. In addition to Dr. Huddleston, participants included Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indiana Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer Karrah Herring, Indiana Commission for Higher Education Commissioner Chris Lowery, Independent Colleges of Indiana President and CEO Kurt Dykstra, and Martin Board of Trustees Secretary Bruce Buchanan.
According to Mayor Hogsett, “Martin University has such a valuable and unique role in our city. I applaud it for finding another way to help an important portion of our city’s residents receive a college education and improve their lives.”
As the Reset and Reemerge Campaign is implemented and picks up momentum, we will keep you posted on its successes and opportunities. We want you informed and knowledgeable about this significant effort. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Martin’s Vice President of Marketing Communication & External Affairs, John Girton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.