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4/8 Torchbearer Weekly Policy Update

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  • Wanto To Finish The FAFSA Before A Key Indiana Deadline? Here’s What You Should Know.
  • Indiana Emergency Services Have Prepared for the Eclipse For Months. Here’s What You Need To Know.
  • $4B Semiconductor Plant Confirmed for West Lafayette
  • U.S. Adds 303K Jobs In March, Again Beating Expectations
  • Share the Torchbearer Newsletter with Your Network!
  • Important Dates

Let’s dive in.

Wanto To Finish The FAFSA Before A Key Indiana Deadline? Here’s What You Should Know.


With a key deadline for Indiana students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, less than two weeks away, roughly one-third of the Class of 2024 had finished the form as of late March.

Why it matters: Filling out the FAFSA is considered an indicator of college-going, and Indiana leaders are pushing ways to increase the number of students going to some form of postsecondary education. Students who submit the FAFSA by April 15 get priority for state financial aid.

The big picture: This year, the FAFSA has changed in multiple ways and has been completed at lower rates across the U.S.. The federal rollout of the new FAFSA has been marked by delays and glitches, including for students who have undocumented parents.

What's next: Colleges have also pushed back enrollment deadlines and expressed concern over the amount of time needed to process delayed data from students to award aid packages.

The bottom line: The Indiana Commission for Higher Education set a goal of 60% completion for the Class of 2024. Last year, nearly 48% of students in Indiana’s high school Class of 2023 completed the form, per a state dashboard. (Chalkbeat Indiana)

Indiana Emergency Services Have Prepared for the Eclipse For Months. Here’s What You Need To Know.


Emergency services in Indiana have been preparing for the upcoming solar eclipse. With an influx of visitors, the biggest challenge for emergency services will be the increase in population. Local government officials have been collaborating with state agencies to ensure preparedness for any emergencies that may arise during the event.

The big picture: The solar eclipse is a historic event that will attract a large number of people to Indiana. Communities across the state will all be facing the same challenge of managing crowds and potential emergencies during the event.

The bottom line: Emergency services need to be prepared for the increase in population and potential emergencies during the solar eclipse. It is important for individuals to plan ahead, have their necessary supplies with them, and consider their exit routes in case of any traffic-related issues. (Louisville Public Media)

$4B Semiconductor Plant Confirmed for West Lafayette


Purdue University President Mung Chiang announced that SK Hynix Inc. will build a $4 billion microelectronics facility in West Lafayette, creating up to 800 jobs by 2030. The state is offering a $700 million incentive package, marking Indiana's largest economic development deal. The facility will produce next-generation high-bandwidth memory chips that are vital for AI systems. SK Hynix is a partner of Nvidia, a Silicon Valley-based company. The semiconductor packaging production line is expected to begin mass production in the second half of 2028, establishing a new semiconductor ecosystem centered in the Midwest.

Why it matters: This announcement is important for both Purdue University and the state of Indiana. It will stimulate economic growth, create high-paying jobs, and strengthen the region's position as a hub for semiconductor research and development. The collaboration with SK Hynix also highlights the significance of the microelectronics industry in advancing AI technology.

The big picture: The establishment of SK Hynix's advanced packaging facility represents a significant milestone in the development of the semiconductor industry in the Midwest. With Purdue University's efforts and partnerships with international manufacturers and institutions, the region is becoming a prominent center for semiconductor R&D and workforce development.

The bottom line: SK Hynix's investment in West Lafayette will boost the local economy, create job opportunities, and enhance the region's expertise in microelectronics and semiconductor technology. The facility's production of AI memory chips will contribute to strengthening America's chip supply chain and advancing AI systems like ChatGPT. (Inside Indiana Business)

U.S. Adds 303K Jobs In March, Again Beating Expectations


The March jobs report beats expectations with a gain of 303,000 jobs and a dip in the jobless rate to 3.8 percent.

Why it matters: The strong job market in the U.S. economy continues despite higher interest rates and inflation remaining above the Fed's target. This is important as it shows economic resilience and provides assurance for future monetary policy decisions.

The big picture: The latest data reflects the ongoing strength of the labor market and the economy's resistance to the impact of higher interest rates. The job market has performed well, maintaining a long period of low unemployment since the late 1960s.

The bottom line: The U.S. economy added a significant number of jobs, indicating sustained economic growth. The dip in the unemployment rate highlights the strength of the job market, contributing to the resilience of the broader U.S. economy. (The Hill)

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Important Dates:


Tuesday, May 14th - Technical Corrections Day