May 07, 2009

Tuition, fees approved by SIU Board of Trustees

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees today (May 7) approved a new tuition rate and fees for SIU Carbondale students.

The new tuition rate applies only to freshmen and new students starting in fall 2009 and is guaranteed for 48 continuous months from the time they first enroll. At 4.5 percent, the increase is the smallest in recent years.

The board voted to increase the annual cost of undergraduate education by $315 per year for a 15-hour per semester class load, bringing total annual tuition to $7,290. Graduate student rates also increased by 4.5 percent, or $338 annually based on a 12-hour class load, for a total annual tuition cost of $7,872.

Non-resident tuition for new entering undergraduate and graduate students from Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Arkansas is 1.0 times the in-state rate.

Tuition for School of Law students will increase 8 percent, or $816 per year based on a 15-hour class load. The board also approved a 2 percent increase for the physician assistant program, or about $423 per year, and an increase in SIU School of Medicine of 8 percent, or $1,776.80, based on a 21-hour class load.

The increases will fund additional costs and obligations of the University.

Unless otherwise noted, all fees are effective fall 2009 and prorated over 12 credit hours for fall, spring and summer semesters.

The board voted to:

• Create a new green fee of $10 per semester. The fee will promote continued efforts at the University to save energy and explore sustainability work. It will fund renewable energy, energy efficiency projects and research as determined by the Campus Sustainability Funding Committee, a majority-student internal committee of the newly formed Sustainability Council. SIUC students supported the fee in a referendum last spring by a vote of 996-372.

• Increase the Campus Recreation Fee by $1.69 to $8.29. The fee supports programs and facilities other than the Student Recreation Center, including tennis courts, Lake-on-the-Campus Beach, boat docks and campus walking trails, among many others. The increase is aimed at field maintenance on the new Intramural Sports and Sport Club Fields, as well as maintaining the University’s current inventory of recreational land and activities.

• Increase the Facilities Maintenance Fee by $6 to a maximum $198. The fee, created in 2007 and being phased in over four years, is designed to offset increases in facility maintenance and utility costs that are creating a financial burden on a flat operations budget. The fee will impact all incoming undergraduates and other students except those in the guaranteed tuition plan prior to fall 2007. The fee will partially fund rising maintenance costs and improvements to facilities including roofs, heating-ventilation-air conditioning, primary electrical systems, domestic waters lines and aesthetics of academic facilities.

• Increase the Intercollegiate Athletic Fee by $13 for a total of $288. The increase will help pay for operations in Intercollegiate Athletics.

• Increase the Mass Transit Fee by $1 to $48. The fee will pay for contractual service increases linked to the Consumer Price Index and diesel fuel costs, and other costs associated with the service provided by Beck Bus Transportation Corp.

• Increase the Student Attorney Fee by $1 to $6. The increase will offset increases in minimum wage, graduate assistant salaries and overall office expenses.

• Increase the Student Center Fee by $11 to $130. The increase will pay for deferred maintenance issues, pay off debt associated with renovations and the recent roof replacement and inflationary costs associated with utilities, insurance, salary and wages and others.

•Increase the Student Medical Benefit Primary Care Fee by $30 to $211 per semester for fall and spring, and by $18 to $126.60 for summer, effective with the collection of fees for fall 2009. The increase will pay inflationary increases in operating expenses for on-campus health service and the Student Health Center. It will pay for salary increases, restore operational reserves and repay debt associated with the construction of the Student Health Center.

• Increase the Student Medical Benefit Extended Care Fee by $41 to $284 for fall and spring semesters, and by $18.50 to $131 for summer, effective with the collection of fees for fall 2009. The majority of students rely on the Extended Care Plan as their only source of health insurance coverage. The Extended Care Fee was not increased this past year. The increase is needed to offset rising costs associated with more students utilizing the benefit and medical service cost increases.

• Increase the Student Recreation Fee by $6.37 to $126.73. The increase will pay for rising costs associated with student minimum wage, insurance, salary increases, maintaining appropriate cash reserves and other maintenance costs.

• Increase the Student Services Building Fee by $20 to $80. The increase, the last of the planned increases as described in the original plan for this project, will pay for future debt associated with the construction of a new Student Services Building near the SIUC Student Center. The new building will house undergraduate admissions, records and registration, financial aid and bursar’s offices, as well as other support services aimed at improving student life. The new building will allow the University to vacate Woody Hall, which will enable workers to renovate that building as well.

The board also voted to increase residence hall rates beginning this summer semester and apartment rental rates starting July 1. Residence hall rates for double occupancy room and meals will increase by 7.5 percent for the academic year. Apartment rate increases will range between 3 percent and 6.5 percent per month, depending on the size and location of the building. Specific rates for residence halls will continue to vary depending on which facility and dining plan students choose. New students also are allowed to sign two-year contracts, locking in their housing cost at its initial level for that time.

The increases will offset higher costs of utilities, insurance, overhead and salaries. The increases also will pay for the University to meet mandated fire sprinkler requirements. Officials will use the remaining portion to address deferred maintenance issues.