Incoming freshmen at the University of Illinois’ three campuses will pay between $22,661 and $25,708 in annual base tuition, fees and room and board under a proposal being considered by the university’s Board of Trustees.
The proposal includes a 1.7 percent tuition increase for in-state students that matches last year’s hike — the smallest percentage increase since 1994 — and is in line with the university’s 2011 policy to keep increases at or below the rate of inflation when possible.
The rate does not reflect what is paid by students who enter into more popular majors, such as business, engineering and journalism. Those students’ tuition can cost thousands of dollars more.
The increase in base tuition “is aimed to recognize the financial challenges facing families, and it will help us be even more competitive,” said Christophe Pierre, the university’s vice president for academic affairs.
The board is expected to vote on the proposed rates at a Jan. 23 meeting.
Under the proposal, new students at the Urbana-Champaign campus would pay yearly
tuition of $12,036 plus $3,492 in fees and $10,180 for a double-occupancy dorm room and a standard meal plan. The total increase in student costs would be $471.
Students at the Chicago campus would pay a total of $25,086 — $487 more than last year’s students paid. Those at the Springfield campus would pay $22,661, $536 more than last year.
Pierre noted that while Springfield students would see the highest increase, student fees at that campus, which would rise to $2,606, would still be considerably smaller than at Urbana and Chicago. Student fees at the Chicago campus would increase to $3,984.
The fees include health insurance estimates based on current rates.
The new tuition rates would not affect existing students. Rates are locked in for four years for each incoming class under the state’s guaranteed tuition law.
Fees and housing costs are not locked in, except at the Urbana campus, which has a policy that freezes room and board costs for up to four years if students continue to live in the residence halls.
The university said it tries to establish costs early in the year to give prospective students and their families time to plan and secure financial aid.
Pierre said the university hopes to keep tuition rate increases low in the future but cautioned that such decisions depend heavily on the level of state funding that the university is able to secure.
The university’s annual direct appropriation from the state has decreased nearly 23 percent since 2002, while enrollment has increased about 14 percent.
The proposal was met favorably by student trustees, who said it seemed fair to keep rates in line with inflation.
“Students seem to be in support of it because it’s reasonable,” said student trustee Danielle Leibowitz. “Students are always worried about rising costs of education, and this way it gives them something predictable and manageable.”