News Local/State

U of I Trustees Raise Tuition by 1.7 Percent


University of Illinois trustees have raised tuition for in-state students starting school this fall by 1.7 percent.

In terms of percentage, it is the smallest increase in almost two decades.

Under Thursday's unanimous vote, undergraduate tuition at the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus will increase $198 to $11,834 a year. Chicago campus undergraduates will see an increase of $174 to $10,406. And tuition in Springfield will increase $157.50 to $9,247.50.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Christophe Pierre calls this a modest increase that will help with student recruitment, but also allow the U of I to make necessary investments in academic quality.

At the meeting in Chicago Thursday, Trustees Chair Chris Kennedy expressed some concern whether the increase would be enough to make up for a sudden loss in state dollars.

“Moving from June to January in setting the tuition robbed us of the ability to react quickly if the legislature changed our funding mechanism," he said.  "So now we’re going to embrace a period of risk, but it’s better that we take the risk than the individual families, I suppose.”

Increases won't affect current students. State law guarantees students at public universities will pay the same tuition for four years.

The coming increase is the smallest in terms of percentage since 1994. Recent increases have been as high as 9.5 percent.

Trustees also raised housing costs to $9,979 a year in Urbana-Champaign, $10,261 in Chicago and $10,350 in Springfield. 

<em>(With additional reporting from Illinois Public Media)</em>