Expressing reluctance to add to the financial burdens of students and their families in tough economic times, university trustees approved a 2.6 percent tuition increase for new Illinois resident undergraduate students – less than the 4 percent increase originally proposed.
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“We are doing something we don’t like to do, but we must do,” said trustee Frances Carroll, who proposed the smaller increase.
By law, tuition for each entering class is fixed for four years. Returning undergraduate students will pay the same tuition as they did last year under the state’s four-year tuition guarantee.
Last year’s tuition increase was 9.5 percent; previous increases were 3.7 percent for FY08 and 9.5 percent for FY07.
The tuition increase was approved by university trustees June 24 at an executive committee meeting by teleconference.
The increase for the Urbana-Champaign campus was $121 per semester to $4,742; at Chicago, the increase is $106 per semester for a total of $4,171; and at Springfield, an increase of $6.25 per credit hour to $246.75.
The measure was passed unanimously by the three executive committee members eligible to vote: Carroll, chairman Niranjan S. Shah and Robert F. Vickrey.
University President B. Joseph White said that while a tuition increase was necessary, the trustees and the administration were aware of the toll the troubled economy has taken on the state’s economy and its citizens.
“In my discussion with state legislators about operating funds for 2009-10, I said we would do our best to minimize as much as possible this year’s tuition increase for students and their families,” White said. “The more modest tuition increase for 2009-10 will help us maintain academic excellence and increase financial aid.”
Increased student fees and housing rates were set by trustees at their Jan. 15 meeting.
Student fees will increase $71 for Urbana-Champaign students to $1,368 per semester, up $39 per semester at UIC and $107 per semester at UIS.
Housing costs, based on a standard double room and 14-meal-per-week plan, will increase $243 per semester at Urbana-Champaign, from $4,099 in fiscal year 2009 to $4,342 in fiscal year 2010, which began July 1. Housing will increase $338 per semester at UIC and UIS students will see a $180 increase per semester.
The increases are required to meet rising operational costs, including wages and salaries, energy, food and materials, and to provide for new programs, debt service and repair- and maintenance-reserve requirements.
White said plans for the 2009-10 school year are to manage conservatively and to be prepared for funding reductions and redirections.