Four Years Of U Of I Tuition To Top $100,000 For First Time


Newly approved tuition increases at the University of Illinois mean that four years of college on the flagship campus will top $100,000 for many students. Trustees voted Thursday to raise tuition by 1.7 percent.

Trustees also increased fees and housing costs.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Christophe Pierre says the increases stick to a university plan to keep increases in line with inflation.

The hike matches the same as what was approved last year, and is the smallest increase since 1994.  That rate is equal to the rate of inflation. 

Trustees and administrators say approving the increase this early helps the U of I and families plan budgets, and issues a challenge to lawmakers to make sure there’s no dip in the state’s appropriation.
The annual tuition for in-state students will be $12,036 in Urbana-Champaign, $10,584 in Chicago and $9,405 in Springfield. Increases would only affect students starting this fall.

That's because state law locks tuition for four years for public university students.
Annual housing costs would increase to $10,180 in Urbana-Champaign, $10,518 in Chicago and $10,650 in Springfield.

At their meeting in Chicago Thursday, Trustees also signed off on a resolution allowing President Robert Easter and his staff spend a few months developing a supplemental U of I employee retirement plan, making up for a less in pension funds brought on by the state pension reform plan approved in December.

The president is expected to make recommendations to the trustees before June, when the pension plan takes effect.

University Trustees also approved a 3-year contract extension for U of I Athletic Director Mike Thomas, boosting his salary to $554-thousand.  The contract expires Aug. 28, 2019. Thomas has overseen the firing and hiring of coaches for men's basketball, women's basketball, and football, and the renovation to the State Farm Center. 

Trustees approved selling revenue bonds to finance the $160 million renovation of that facility, the former Assembly Hall, a 50-year-old sports and entertainment complex on the Urbana campus.

Trustees Chair Chris Kennedy was elected to a sixth year as chairman.   The 50-year-old Kennedy said after the vote that he feels lucky to help lead the university.
Gov. Pat Quinn appointed Kennedy to the board in 2009 after the school's admissions scandal. Trustees said they believe Kennedy has helped the board rebuild confidence in the integrity of the university.
Kennedy is the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and chairman of the family's investment firm, Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises Inc.  

One bring spot for the Urbana campus - Chancellor Phyllis Wise says there’s been a new record for undergraduate student applicants for Fall 2014 - 35,424, edging the 2013 total of 33,181.

Story source: AP