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U of I recommends no base tuition increase for in-state freshmen
Affordability initiative would hold rates flat for third straight year

January 9, 2017 

CHICAGO – For the third straight year, the University of Illinois System has proposed no increase in base tuition for in-state freshmen next fall – the longest consecutive freeze in tuition rates in 40 years.

The proposed in-state tuition freeze for the System’s universities in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign was reviewed Monday by the Board of Trustees’ Audit, Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee, and will be considered by the full board at its Jan. 19 meeting in Chicago.

President Tim Killeen said the recommendation reflects a commitment to student affordability and access that was reaffirmed in a new Strategic Framework approved last year that sets high-aspiration goals to build on the U of I System’s service to students and the public good.

He said extending the in-state tuition freeze to a third straight year would be the longest in decades, since a four-year freeze from 1974 to 1977, and was proposed despite a budget impasse that has significantly reduced state funding for the U of I System for the last two years.

“Our commitment to affordability has helped System-wide enrollment grow to record highs each of the last two years, providing life-changing opportunities for students and building on the pipeline of world-class talent that is critical to moving the state of Illinois forward,” Killeen said.

Base tuition for in-state undergraduates next fall would match rates for the 2014-15 academic year – $12,036 a year in Urbana-Champaign, $10,584 in Chicago, and $9,405 in Springfield. In Chicago, a tuition differential for all freshmen enrolled in business administration would increase by $150 a year. The differential helps fund two centers supported by students to develop job skills. There will be no change in differentials for other Chicago academic units or for units in Urbana-Champaign and Springfield. Differentials cover the additional costs of providing the highest-quality education in selected areas of study.

Under the proposal, base tuition for out-of-state and international freshmen would increase by 1.8 percent next fall in Urbana-Champaign. Out-of-state rates would remain unchanged in Chicago, with a 2 percent increase for international freshmen. Out-of-state and international rates would stay at current levels in Springfield, with a $20 per credit hour increase in administration fees for online programs.

Tuition rates for incoming students would remain unchanged for four years under the state’s guaranteed tuition law, launched in 2004 to help students and families plan for the cost of a public university education by fixing tuition rates for the four years required to complete most undergraduate degree programs.

The U of I System also has proposed holding the line on future tuition rates through a groundbreaking bill introduced in the Illinois legislature last November. The proposed U of I Investment, Performance, and Accountability Commitment (IPAC) would provide predictable state funding for university operations over the next five years in exchange for tangible performance goals that support Illinois students and serve the needs of the state. If approved, the measure would hold tuition increases to the rate of inflation or less, while also providing high levels of student financial aid.

Over the last decade, the University has ramped up internal efforts to protect the most financially vulnerable students, increasing institutional financial aid more than fourfold to $84 million annually. Through state, federal, University and donor-provided financial aid, half of undergraduates pay less than full sticker price across the System’s three universities.

Undergraduate fees/Housing

The committee also reviewed proposed mandatory student fees and room-and-board rates for the 2017-18 academic year.

Student fees exclude optional student health insurance rates, which are typically established in March. Fees reviewed by the committee help fund 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.

If approved by trustees, mandatory fees in Urbana-Champaign would increase 0.5 percent, or $16, to $3,038 a year. In Chicago, fees would increase 1.3 percent, or $40, to $3,132 a year. Fees in Springfield would increase 10.4 percent, or $210, to $2,226 annually, through an increase that will take effect in the spring 2018 semester to support student-approved fees for a new student union and environmental sustainability projects.

Proposed undergraduate room-and-board costs would stay at current levels in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago. Costs in Urbana-Champaign, based on the standard double-occupancy room and meal plan, would remain at $10,612 per year. Similar to the guaranteed four-year tuition policy, room-and-board costs in Urbana-Champaign are locked in for up to four years if students continue to live in campus residence halls.

In Chicago, the cost for a standard double-occupancy room and meal plan would remain at $10,960 per year. In Springfield, a standard housing and gold meal plan would increase 0.6 percent, or $60, to $10,810 per year. 


The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 81,000 students, more than 24,000 faculty and staff, and universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually. 


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