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Indiana University Northwest

Office of Marketing and Communications

Students new to IU Northwest cite affordability, quality, proximity as reasons they chose Gary campus

To ensure success and sense of belonging, campus provides tools for support


Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

Whether right out of high school, returning after a long hiatus, or changing careers, students new to Indiana University Northwest approached the campus with excitement last week as classroom doors opened to welcome the 2011-2012 academic year.

Conversations with new students attending a pre-semester summer orientation revealed a multitude of reasons that IU Northwest is right for them. Primarily, they cited the affordability of quality programs close to family and their current jobs.

Morgan Martin of Hobart considered enrolling at the Art Institute or American Academy of Art in Chicago, but she decided on IU Northwest because it offers a very similar fine arts program that is more affordable and closer to home.

Martin’s mother, Jennifer Martin, who was touring the campus recently with her daughter, says her decision makes good sense.

“No one wants to start life $100,000 in debt,” she said.

Long-term, the 2011 Merrillville High School graduate hopes to become a graphic designer, but for this semester she intends simply to “make it through math.”

Ten years ago, Chris Lukaski of Rensselaer, Ind. attended another local campus but never decided on a major. He left soon after to work as an electrician.

He enrolled at IU Northwest in search of a more stable career, which he intends to acquire by way of the Radiologic Sciences program.

Lukaski said he knew firsthand about the quality of IU Northwest programs, as his wife, Sarah, is a 2003 graduate of the Social Work program.

Marguerita Wilson, of Gary, has her sights set on a nursing degree from IU Northwest, and is hoping to provide a better life for herself and her two children.

Wilson said that coming back to school is long overdue. She wanted to begin furthering her education 10 years ago, right after earning her associate’s degree as a medical assistant, but couldn’t make it fit into her lifestyle.

Saying he prefers to be on the move rather than working behind a desk, Thomas Ramirez has put much thought into the direction he plans to take his studies. The 2011 Munster High School grad is excited to be studying criminal justice at IU Northwest. He hopes to go into law enforcement and join the ROTC group on campus.

Diane Hodges, Vice Chancellor for Student Services at IU Northwest, said making sure new students get off to a good start is a priority.

“Many new students are choosing IU Northwest as their first choice and we want them to continue to feel they’ve made the right choice well after they arrive here,” Hodges said.

That means encouraging and supporting them along the way with such programs as the New Student Success Program, created by the Office of Diversity Programming. The NSSP provides a cohort of incoming freshmen with strategic academic support, guidance, and advisement to ensure a successful start towards graduation.  The program provides students with course materials (books and some supplies), as well as individual acclimation to IU Northwest through peer mentors.

Also available to help acclimate new students are programs that group students into learning communities or provide tutoring, assistance with securing financial aid and scholarships, services to those with disabilities, counseling services and more.

Hodges said an important part of persisting to graduation and maintaining success is staying engaged and building a rewarding campus life. More than 90 student organizations are available to help students build relationships and hone their social skills.

For more information about assistance that is available through Student Support Services, call (219)980-6798.