March 09, 2006

Trustees consider increases in SIUC tuition, fees

by Sue Davis

CARBONDALE, Ill -- New undergraduate students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this fall would pay $491.95 per semester more for tuition and fees than students who entered SIUC in the fall 2006 under proposals presented to the SIU Board of Trustees at its regular meeting in Carbondale today (March 9).

Action is expected at the Board's next meeting in May.

Board members and university administrators noted that SIUC's rates are the lowest of the five public research extensive universities in Illinois. Even so, they are also looking for ways to increase student wages and various components of student aid to address the potential impact the increases might have on students.

Tuition for new students would go up $249 per semester, an increase of 9.4 percent, and students would be guaranteed that rate for 48 continuous months as required under the state's guaranteed tuition policies.

Mandatory fees would go up $242.95 per semester. Students who already have a locked-in rate would only be charged for the increase in fees. Students who entered SIUC before guaranteed undergraduate tuition rates began in Fall 2004 would pay $210 per semester more in tuition (an 8.4 percent increase), in addition to the revised fees.

With the proposed changes new freshmen would pay a total of $3,902.45 each semester in tuition and fees beginning fall semester 2007.

The proposed fee increases include three new additions:

—A new Information Technology fee would fund a new student information system. The software vendor will no longer support SIUC's current system, first installed in the mid 1980s, after 2009.

—A new component to the athletics fee of $44 per semester would fund part of the construction of some of the key proposals of Saluki Way, the new campus core for the University. This part of the athletics fee would help pay for a new football stadium, and a renovated SIU Arena.

—A new Student Services Facility Fee to cover the cost of debt service on a proposed new building that would centralize student service areas such as admissions, financial aid, records and registration, new student admissions in a one-stop location.

Trustees also reviewed proposed increases in SIUC residence hall rates. A typical undergraduate sharing a room with a 19-meal-per week food plan would pay $3,058 per semester next fall, an increase of $278 per semester. Increases would cover rising costs of utilities and other costs. Action on those proposals is also expected at the Board's May meeting.

SIUC's room and board rates are lower than those at the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois University and SIU Edwardsville and are expected to remain the lowest in this group if the increase is approved.