Thursday, January 19, 2017

UIS in-state freshmen tuition rate frozen for third straight year

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Thursday approved tuition rates for next fall with no increase in base tuition for in-state freshmen, extending a tuition freeze at its three universities to a third straight year.

The freeze is the longest since tuition rates held steady for four years in the mid-1970s – from 1974-77 – and was approved despite a budget impasse that has significantly reduced state funding for the U of I System for the last two years.

President Tim Killeen said the extended tuition freeze reflects a commitment to access and affordability that has helped increase System-wide enrollment to record highs for the last two years, topping 81,000 students last fall.

“Our affordability efforts serve both students and the public good – providing the high-quality education that transforms students’ lives and collectively supplying the next-generation workforce that is essential to drive progress for our state and nation,” Killeen said.

Base tuition for in-state undergraduates next fall will match rates for the 2014-15 academic year at $9,405 in Springfield. Out-of-state and international tuition rates will stay at current levels in Springfield, with a $20 per credit hour increase in administration fees for online programs.

Tuition rates for incoming students will remain unchanged for four years under the state’s guaranteed tuition law, launched in 2004 to help students and families plan for the cost of a public university education by fixing tuition rates for the four years required to complete most undergraduate degree programs.

The U of I System also has proposed holding the line on future tuition rates through a groundbreaking bill introduced in the Illinois legislature last November. The proposed U of I Investment, Performance, and Accountability Commitment (IPAC) would provide predictable state funding for university operations over the next five years in exchange for tangible performance goals that support Illinois students and serve the needs of the state. If approved, the measure would hold tuition increases to the rate of inflation or less for the five years of the agreement, while also providing high levels of student financial aid.

Over the last decade, the University has ramped up internal efforts to protect the most financially vulnerable students, increasing institutional financial aid more than fourfold to $84 million annually. Through state, federal, University and donor-provided financial aid, half of undergraduates pay less than full sticker price across the System’s three universities.

Undergraduate fees/Housing 

The board also approved mandatory student fees and room-and-board rates for the 2017-18 academic year.

Student fees exclude optional student health insurance rates, which are typically established in March. Fees approved Thursday help fund costs such as operating campus recreational facilities, student unions, career services, athletics, counseling centers and libraries, and also help with facility maintenance, renovations and utilities.

Mandatory fees in Springfield will increase 10.4 percent, or $210, to $2,226 annually, through an increase that will take effect in the spring 2018 semester to support student-approved fees for a new student union and environmental sustainability projects.

In Springfield, a standard housing and gold meal plan will increase 0.6 percent, or $60, to $10,810 per year.

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