Listen Live

(INDIANAPOLIS) – 75,000 out-of-state students go to college in Indiana. The state’s getting ready to launch a new program to keep them here.

Starting this spring, IU, Purdue, Ball State and six Ivy Tech campuses will begin reaching out to out-of-state freshmen, encouraging them to work in Indiana or sample the state’s attractions. The hope is it’ll make them think about settling in Indiana after graduation. 

Indianapolis Senator John Ruckelshaus (R) says as the program gets established, industries or individual employers might link to it, sweetening the pot with incentives like paying off student loans for students who take jobs with them after graduating. 

The Commission for Higher Education plans to expand the progran to all public universities in the fall, and any private schools who are interested.

Ruckelshaus plans to introduce another bill in the upcoming session, targeting even younger students. He’s proposing a program for high school students who haven’t figured out what they want to do after graduation. His proposal would pay them a stipend to move around to different jobs for two weeks at a time the summer before senior year, from computer programming to farm labor. Ruckelshaus says it’d be a chance to introduce students to something that sparks their interest.

(Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)