The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Thursday approved modest tuition increases for in-state freshmen starting school next fall, only the second tuition increase in the past eight years.
Tuition will increase 1.8 percent for incoming in-state freshmen in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago, and 1.5 percent in Springfield. Under Illinois’ guaranteed tuition law, currently enrolled in-state students will see no tuition increase. Trustees, who met virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also approved fee and housing rates for the 2022-23 academic year.
The tuition increases are well below the rate of inflation – the Consumer Price Index has increased by an average 2.6 percent per year over the past four years, including a 6.2 percent increase over the past 12 months – and follow extensive discussions at each University of Illinois System university about balancing affordability and access for students with the need to maintain academic excellence, particularly during a period of growing inflation.
“The world-class education available at our three universities is the reason so many students choose the University of Illinois,” U of I System President Tim Killeen said. “These modest increases will ensure that we can maintain the levels of excellence that have led to record enrollment growth, and that the people of Illinois count on.”
As part of the system’s commitment to increasing the educational opportunities available for Illinoisans, enrollment has grown by 16.3 percent since the fall of 2017, reaching a record 94,750 last fall. Almost 60,000 of those students are in-state undergraduates, representing more than half of all the Illinois residents enrolled in public universities in the state. The number of Illinois residents enrolled in system universities has increased by more than 5,000 since 2014.
Citing the need to maintain affordability, trustees previously froze tuition from 2015-19 and in 2021.
The most recent tuition increase was approved in January 2020 for in-state undergraduates beginning school that fall. Due to the pandemic, however, trustees a few months later approved funding to cover those additional costs.
Under the increases approved Thursday, base tuition for in-state undergraduates starting school next fall will increase by $220 to $12,474 a year in Urbana-Champaign, by $194 to $10,970 in Chicago, and by $142.50 to $9,645 in Springfield.
The state guaranteed tuition law requires that rates for incoming students from Illinois will remain unchanged for four years.
For out-of-state and international freshmen, tuition will increase by 2.5 percent next fall in Urbana-Champaign, 1.8 percent in Chicago, and 1.5 percent in Springfield.
The U of I System has made financial aid to students a priority over the last decade, more than doubling the institutional assistance it provides to about $258 million annually. Through financial aid, 30 percent of system students paid no tuition at all.
Trustees also approved modest increases in fees and room and board costs for students who live on campus.
Chairman Edwards re-elected
Donald J. Edwards was unanimously re-elected Thursday by his fellow trustees to a fourth one-year term as chairman of the board.
Edwards, who lives in Chicago, is an alumnus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has served as a trustee since 2017. He is CEO of Flexpoint Ford, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm that he founded in 2004. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance with University Honors, and also was a four-year letter-winner on the Illini golf team from 1985 to 1988. He later received an MBA from Harvard Business School with Baker Scholar Distinction.
Edwards said he was deeply gratified to again be selected to lead the board, which oversees the U of I System and its three universities.
“Serving the university that I know and love is an honor, and I am grateful to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and my fellow trustees for their support and the opportunity to continue to build upon the excellence of the University of Illinois System,” Edwards said. “Public higher education is more important than ever to our society, and I look forward to the ongoing collaboration with our administration.
“Our mission is clear: to make certain that the world-class education offered at our universities is available at an affordable price for generations to come, and that the University of Illinois plays a vital role in developing Illinois’ economy and enriching the state through game-changing research and innovation, such as the remarkable development of our COVID-19 saliva test and the SHIELD testing-and-tracking program,” he added.
New UIS college
Trustees also approved the creation of the new College of Health, Science, and Technology (CHST) at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), subject to the approval of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
The new college would unify existing UIS science-based academic units and programs, and enable cutting-edge scientific and interdisciplinary research and training opportunities. No additional funding is required to establish the college.