Trustees consider 1.7% tuition increase

stack of booksThe university Board of Trustees is expected to consider a 1.7 percent tuition increase for next fall’s incoming freshmen at its Jan. 23 meeting at UIC.

Under the proposal, base tuition for in-state students would increase to $10,584 per year in Chicago, $12,036 a year in Urbana-Champaign and $9,405 in Springfield.

Trustees are also expected to consider an increase in undergraduate fees and housing.

Student fees, not including student health insurance rates, contribute to costs such as operating campus recreational facilities, student unions, career services, athletics, counseling centers and libraries, and also help with facility maintenance, renovations and utilities.

Chicago’s fees would rise 1.7 percent, or $52, to $3,062 per year. At the Urbana campus, fees would increase 2.3 percent, or $68, to $2,984 per year. At Springfield, fees would rise 4.1 percent, or $78, to $1,970 per year.

Undergraduate room-and-board costs at UIC, based on the standard double-occupancy room and 14-meal-per-week plan, would rise 2.5 percent, or $257, to $10,518 per year.

Similar housing costs at Urbana would rise 2 percent, or $201, to $10,180 per year; UIS would increase 2.9 percent, or $300 to $10,650 per year.

The proposed tuition increase tracks with the rate of inflation and matches the smallest increase in nearly two decades.

If approved, guaranteed four-year tuition for incoming in-state freshmen would increase the equivalent of 0.7 percent per year during the four years that rates are locked in under the state’s guaranteed tuition law.

The tuition guarantee, passed in 2004, fixes tuition rates for the four years required to complete most undergraduate degree programs.

The tuition recommendation matches the increase for incoming freshman last fall — the smallest percentage increase since 1994.

In 2011, university trustees passed a policy to hold down student costs by limiting increases to cost-of-living indexes or below, barring significant reductions in state funding or other university support.

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