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Best Colleges report calls IU Northwest a top school of choice for adult learners

Report published by U.S. News & World Report shows 40 percent of the university’s students are age 25 and older


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing and Communications

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U.S News & World Report Best Colleges 2012 Report

U.S. News & World Report has ranked Indiana University Northwest as having the highest percentage of students over the age of 25 of all Northwest Indiana universities, according to the magazine’s latest annual ranking featuring America’s best colleges. At IU Northwest, 40 percent of the student body is over the age of 25.

“Our students, whatever their ages, are managing their academic careers along with an often complex array of adult responsibilities and commitments,” said IU Northwest Chancellor William J. Lowe. “The Northwest campus strives to provide flexible scheduling and the full range of academic support services. We always look for new ways to enable our students to succeed.”

Like so many others, Tracy Traut, a wife and mother of two, came to IU Northwest at the age of 39, in pursuit of her psychology degree.

“No one (at IU Northwest) said you are ridiculous for coming back to school at your age,” Traut said. “And no one said this is going to be too hard for you (since) you have two young kids. They seemed to understand I was smart and had a willingness to learn, that I wanted to be here.”

The flexibility of IU Northwest, particularly night class offerings, enabled Traut to persist to graduation.

“When I went back (to school), I went back on my terms of part-time and for a long time that was one class a semester.” Traut explained.

A 2009 IU Northwest graduate, Traut is currently the executive director of the Porter County Family Counseling Center.

“Success stories like Ms. Traut’s are common among students at IU Northwest, where so many of our learners must balance the demands of college, work, and family responsibilities,” Lowe said. “It is part of our campus mission to enable students to make higher education work for them in a way that complements their life circumstances and places their aspirations within reach.”      

In other noted U.S. News categories, IU Northwest was listed as the most economically diverse of Northwest Indiana’s local campuses and the tenth most economically diverse among all regional universities in the Midwest.

The university tied for first locally among public institutions with regard to freshman retention and campus racial diversity.

For additional information on “America’s Best Colleges” featured in U.S. News & World Report, visit