SIU board votes to hike tuition 5 percent

The incoming freshmen at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will pay more than last year’s class, as the board of trustees have approved a 5 percent increase in tuition as well as increasing fees.

The SIU Board of Trustees approved the increase Thursday.

SIUE tuition will increase 5 percent from the previous year from $243.20 per credit hour to $255.40, or $3,831 for a full-time semester. That rate is guaranteed for the new fall freshmen for all four years under state law. Graduate students also will see a 5 percent increase, with 3 percent for pharmacy students and 2 percent for dental students.

Mandatory fees also will increase by various percentages; the new fees for a full-time student will be:

• Welfare and activity fee: $118 ($1.40 increase)

• Fitness fee: $86.70 (no change)

• Athletic fee: $181.70 ($5.30 increase)

• University Center fee: $171.75 ($5.25 increase)

• Student-to-student Grants: $6 (no change)

• Student Success Center: $72.60 (no change)

• Facilities fee: $20.05 per credit hour (55 cent increase)

• Information technology fee: $7.35 per credit hour (10 cent increase)

• Textbook rental fee: $16.30 per credit hour ($3.30 increase)

While fees will vary widely per student depending on specialty classes and the number of classes taken in a given semester, the average student taking 15 hours a semester will pay $183 in additional tuition and $71.20 in additional fees per semester under the new plan. The total cost for a 15-hour semester for an undergrad in-state freshman will be $5,123.25.

That does not include on-campus housing; single-student housing in the residence halls will range from $2,880 to $5,760, with different rates for various housing options including the family housing in Cougar Village.

Board members said the continuing cuts in state funding require that they raise tuition, after a long-standing policy of little to no tuition increase.

Board chairman Randal Thomas said the board’s desire was not to raise tuition.

“But as we all know, we don’t control the money from the state of Illinois,” he said.

SIU president Randy Dunn said there already are a number of programs funded by state grants that are being discontinued due to state cuts. “You’re potentially going to see more of this happen,” he said. “These reductions have a direct impact, and we will have to deal with them as they come in.”

Thomas said the board examined possible scenarios ranging from another year of tuition freeze up to a 10 percent increase. The math indicated that the only way to break even with the anticipated state budget cuts would be a 4.7 percent increase overall. Thus, Thomas said, they have averaged a 5 percent tuition increase.

“We regret that, but it’s the courageous thing we have to do,” Thomas said. “It still keeps us as the two value campuses in the state of Illinois.”

In other news, the board approved a plan to allow an Edwardsville Fire Department station on the campus. Rich Walker, vice chancellor for administration, said it was the culmination of a 20-year agreement to provide land for the city to construct a fire station for easiest access to residence halls and buildings on campus, as well as to the Gateway Commerce Center and other areas in the western part of the city fire district.

The project is part of the city’s ongoing public safety construction project, which also includes a new police and fire station located in downtown Edwardsville on the former site of the Madison County Shelter Care Home.