March 11, 2004

SIU Trustees approve tuition rates for fall 2004

by Sue Davis

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University's Board of Trustees today (March 11) approved a tuition plan that begins the transition to flat, guaranteed rates for first-time undergraduates.

Under the plan, first-time freshmen next fall at SIU Carbondale will pay $4,920 (15.9 percent more than students will pay this year) for 15 or more hours of classes each academic year. Students will enjoy that same annual rate for up to four continuous academic years, or for five years if they major in a field that requires five years of study to earn a bachelor's degree.

"Setting rates that will hold for four years requires careful planning and excellent forecasting," said SIUC Chancellor Walter V. Wendler. "This rate figures out to about a 4 percent annual increase over four years and is a good thing for students and families and we predict our rates will still be the lowest among our statewide peers."

It's all part of the undergraduate guaranteed tuition bill, Public Act 93-0228, which was enacted last year by the Illinois General Assembly. Student fees for fall were approved almost a year ago. Today's action affects tuition only.

For fall 2004, continuing students will pay $4,560 in tuition (7.3 percent more) for 15 or more hours of classes each semester for the academic year that begins in August.

Total cost of attendance for entering freshmen, sharing a residence hall room on campus with a standard meal plan, will be $11,540.50 per academic year. Continuing undergraduates will pay a total of $11,180.50.

SIU Trustees first considered the tuition rate increase in September, but delayed action in order to study the matter more completely.

Over the next three years, the University will phase in the guaranteed tuition plan for each successive freshman class until full implementation in fall 2007. During the changeover, SIUC will also continue to project a four-year window of tuition and fees for continuing students.

Predictability and keeping costs as low as possible has long been an important part of SIUC's tuition strategy to help students and their families budget for college. SIU has had a four-year tuition and fee plan in place for more than 10 years.

SIU's new tuition plan also calls for gradually bringing SIU tuition rates closer to parity with peer institutions.

Under the plan, out-of-state students at SIUC and SIU Edwardsville would pay 2.5 times the in-state tuition rate. They now pay 2 times the in-state rate.

Graduate tuition at SIUC increased 8.2 percent to $4,608 per academic year, with an additional $1,414.50 in student fees.