Free Application Week Backfires In Indiana

06/29/2010 08:32 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

An effort to get more students to apply to college by waiving application fees has ended up costing Indiana University $300,000.

Last summer, the Indiana Higher Education Commission created an initiative called "College Go!," which set aside one week during October when aspiring college students could apply to Indiana schools for free. Applications normally cost about $50.

Enrollment officials across the state said their staffs wasted hundreds of hours sorting through applications, many of them incomplete, and trying to follow up with students who had no intention of attending college, The Herald-Times of Bloomington reported today.

Many applications were never completed, and others were from students who clearly would not be admissible to IU, Thompson said. The school will not waive application fees this year.

One school official said the effort was "well-intentioned but misguided." College Go! week will be held earlier this year, and schools will not be encouraged to let students apply for free.

What's your take on this? Well-intentioned but poorly run? Or a bad idea to begin with? Weigh in below.