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University Creates 2-Year Debt-Free College Degree to Help Underserved Students

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Butler University of Indianapolis has created a 2-year debt-free college to offer an associate’s degree aimed at helping prospective first-generation laureates get access to higher education.

Graduates of the facility can then continue their path to a bachelor’s degree for a flat rate of $10,000, a quarter of the current normal tuition of $45,000.

“We were founded in 1855 by an abolitionist,” President James Danko told CNN. “We were not living out our founder’s dream… that set in motion a lot of conversation and discussion about how you would deliver a degree? What would the type of student look like?”

Butler University is a private liberal arts college in Indiana, and the new college and programs will be funded by endowments and donations, and accessible to students in low-income housing areas and those who would be the first in their family history to go to college.

It was advised by the Come to Believe Network, an organization that helps design affordable degree programs for 4-year universities like Butler which has helped create similar programs at Loyola University in Chicago and the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis.

Danko said that Butler will begin enrolling students under the affordable associate’s program next year at their Midtown Indianapolis campus for the 2025 fall semester.

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