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Earlham College will offer free tuition to income-eligible Indiana students

College students walk across a grassy campus with a brick building in the background.
Stephen Allen
Courtesy of Earlham College
© 2011 Stephen Allen Photography

Starting next fall, some students may qualify for free tuition at Earlham College. The Richmond, Ind., school is launching INspire Earlham to make its private, liberal arts education more affordable for Indiana students.

The program offers free tuition to people in Indiana whose families are Pell and state of Indiana grant-eligible and earn up to $60,000, just above the state median household income of $56,000.

"Indiana has experienced an alarming drop in the number of students pursuing post-secondary education in recent years and we know cost is often a significant barrier," says Earlham President Anne Houtman. "With this new program we're doubling down on our commitment to making higher education affordable for Indiana students and their families."

The college says the program works by combining a student's state aid scholarships and federal grants, with the college offering an INspire grant to cover the rest. Students will still have to pay for other fees such as room and board. The program is open to students beginning with the fall 2022 entering class, including some transfer students.

While the program is currently only open to Indiana residents, the college says it would like to expand to other students in the future.

"This program honors our history and underscores our longstanding commitment to changing the world for good," Houtman adds.

Earlham College was founded by Quakers in 1847. About 5.5% of students at the liberal arts college identify as Quaker today.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.