December 11, 2003

Trustees review tuition proposal for next fall

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University's Board of Trustees today (Dec. 11) reviewed a detailed proposal that guarantees flat tuition rates for first-time undergraduates entering SIU Carbondale in August.

New full-time students at SIUC would pay $4,920 in an academic year where they took 15 or more hours in both fall and spring semesters. Under the state's new guaranteed tuition rate, their cost would remain the same for the next three years, guaranteeing the rate for a total of 48 continuous months.

Essentially incoming students would pay just $12 more per credit hour than continuing students, a total of $164 per credit hour, to lock in a guaranteed rate.

Students who are in a field that requires five years of study to receive a bachelor's degree would receive a one-year extension at that rate in order to make planning easier.

SIUC's proposed tuition rate for continuing undergraduates is $4,560 beginning in August, or $152 per credit hour. This represents a 7.4 percent increase over this year's tuition rate for full-time undergraduates of $4,245.

The plan, which trustees will vote on in February, keeps with the undergraduate "truth-in-tuition" measure approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich earlier this year.

"The new guaranteed rate for incoming undergraduates figures out to about a 4 percent annual increase over four years," SIUC Chancellor Walter V. Wendler said. "This institution has long been a leader in providing an outstanding education at an affordable price, and in providing a four-year tuition and fee plan to help students and their families plan their financial approach to college. This proposal certainly upholds that tradition."

The Board of Trustees previously approved fees for student services and room and board costs for next school year.

While the law applies to Illinois residents, SIU's proposal extends the same guarantee to new, non-resident students at the out-of-state rate. Non-resident students currently pay twice the in-state rate; under the new proposal, they would pay 2.5 times the in-state tuition rate.

Tuition for full-time graduate students would increase 7.3 percent, to $4,608 for next year.

The University will phase in the guaranteed tuition plan for each successive freshman class until full implementation in fall 2007, and will also continue to project tuition and fees for continuing students.