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New program aids in-state grads

Jeannine Privat | Thursday, October 14, 2004

For many graduating seniors, a job placement in South Bend, or any part of Indiana, sounds less than appealing – and the statistics agree. According to a March 2003 Indianapolis Star article, Indiana ranked 14th in state production of college graduates, but only 44th in percentage of college graduates among overall residents.

Last year, however, Notre Dame received a $1 million endowment from the Lilly Endowment’s “Initiative to Promote Opportunity Through Educational Collaborations” to set up Indiana Careers at Notre Dame (INC@ND), a new program designed to aid students who choose to remain in-state after graduation. Notre Dame’s program is just one of 37 that have been established throughout Indiana.

With the current loss of college graduates, commonly known as the “brain drain,” administrators hope to encourage them to stay with financial incentives, among other extras. The program will give financial support of up to $9,000 to qualifying graduates, and up to $3,000 for students involved in summer internships.

“We are really hopeful that we can help students stay here,” INC@ND program director Lori Ann Edinborough said.

To receive funds, upcoming college graduates must apply through the Career Center and be chosen for the program. Current funds allow for approximately 15 students to receive monthly payments of $375 over two years. For those students interested in funding for both paid and unpaid internships, money is allocated for about 30 students, who will receive funds based partially on need, and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Besides financial assistance, INC@ND aims to help college graduates in other ways. The program will aid students in searching for a career, and will collaborate with not only other universities, but also other companies and state and local government employers.

INC@ND hopes to increase the attractiveness of living in Indiana after graduation. While many people often want to go straight to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, Edinborough stresses the positive qualities of cities in Indiana.

“Indianapolis is a really great city to live in that many people don’t consider,” she said.

As the 12th largest city in the United States, Indianapolis should be a leading candidate for attracting college graduates, Edinborough said.

The Lilly Endowment was organized by members of the Lilly family, which owns the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical business Eli Lilly and Company.