Engineering students could pay 15 percent more at SIUE

News-DemocratFebruary 13, 2014 

— Several fees and tuition may be going up for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students - and engineering students may be paying 15 percent more than their classmates.

Among the fee and tuition increases proposed to the SIU board of trustees Thursday was a tuition surcharge for engineering students. Certain professional students such as dental, pharmacy and nursing students pay a higher tuition rate than the rest of the student body; this proposal would charge 15 percent more for engineering students as well.

That would translate to approximately $1,094 more per year for engineering.

Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe said that the engineering school has had strong and increasing demand, while the cost of providing the engineering classes is higher than that of other academic programs. Equipment, technical support and the pace of technology change requires a high investment, she said, and the salaries of engineering faculty tend to be higher than in other disciplines.

The high demand means that student-to-faculty ratios are as much as 30 students to one professor, with 37 to one in the mechanical engineering department.

However, Furst-Bowe said they did not predict the surcharge would make SIUE less competitive for engineering students. "Most schools do have tuition differentials for engineering," she said.

At the University of Illinois, engineering students pay $2,300 to $4,920 more per year than other students. The University of Missouri surcharge is about $2,352 per year. SIUE's surcharge will be less than half that at $1,094.

Furst-Bowe also said a portion of the surcharge would be set aside for financial aid, so that low-income students would not be adversely affected by the surcharge.

If approved by the trustees at the April meeting, the tuition surcharge would begin in the 2014-15 academic year.

The proposed tuition increase for all students would be 5 percent. However, that estimate was based on the scenario that the state kept SIUE's funding the same as last year, Furst-Bowe said.

The final recommendation to the board will depend on Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address next month, according to SIU President Glenn Poshard.

PROPOSED FEE INCREASES AT SIUE

* Athletic fee, from $170.65 to $176.40 per semester, increase of $5.75 or 3.4 percent.

* Facilities fee, from $570 to $585 per year, increase of 50 cents per credit hour or 2.6 percent.

* Information technology fee, from $7.05 per credit hour to $7.25, increase of 20 cents per credit hour or 2.8 percent.

* Student Fitness Center fee, from $84.20 to $86.70 per semester, increase of $2.50 per semester or 3 percent.

* Student welfare and activity fee, from $114.95 to $116.60 per semester, increase of $1.65 or 1.4 percent.

* Textbook rental fee, from $184.50 to $195 per semester, increase of $10.50 or 5.7 percent.

* University Center fee, from $161.55 to $166.50 per semester, increase of $4.95 or 3.1 percent.

* Student housing would increase from $5,430 to $5,590 per year at the three freshman residence halls for a shared room. Housing at the upperclassman residence hall would increase from $5,770 to $5,930 for a shared apartment. Cougar Village shared rooms would increase from $4,130 to $4,250 a year, or $7,310 to $8,260 for a private room.

* Meal plans are projected to go up 3 percent.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 618-239-2507.

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