April 14, 2005

Flight-training fees could go up as fuel, other costs rise

by Pete Rosenbery

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today (April 14) reviewed a proposed 5.8 percent fee increase for required flight training courses offered at SIU Carbondale.

The proposed increase comes from continuing increases in aviation insurance, fuel and operations costs, said Paul D. Sarvela, dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Fees for the seven required courses would increase a total of $2,000, from $34,637 to $36,637 for the program. The new fee would take effect for the 2005-2006 academic year, and is payable over five semesters, said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight.

Action on the notice item is expected at the Board's meeting May 12 in Carbondale

Fees for four elective post-associate degree courses involving flight instructor training and a practicum course in air carrier operations are not being increased. The total cost for the required and elective courses is $52.039, a 3.9 percent increase from last year.

NewMyer notes the proposed increases are in just two courses -- the second-half of a private pilot course, and an instrument course -- that officials believed were under priced relative to other flight courses. Students who already have completed those courses will see no increase.

NewMyer sees a negligible impact on program enrollment. SIUC remains an industry leader in program value when including available internships and job placement opportunities. The department now has internship agreements with eight airlines.

"When you look at our fees structure and you look at the cost of tuition and housing, SIUC offers a fine education at a very competitive price," Sarvela said.

"Our faculty work to continue to keep the prices down and do everything they can to ensure that not only do our students get an excellent education, but that it is offered at reasonable prices," Sarvela said.

Aviation flight program fees are in addition to the tuition that aviation students pay for University courses.

Shaping high-quality undergraduate programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.