New ISU Students Face Likely Tuition Hike

Published 05/07 2014 04:54PM

Updated 05/07 2014 06:14PM

NORMAL - The end of the school year means most students have their eyes set on summer vacation, but for administrators at Illinois State University, the next school year is already on their minds.

At ISU, state funding has been steady for years, but Illinois lawmakers have school officials preparing for a worst case scenario. It’s one where the school receives $9 million less from the state.

"We do not believe we'll face that magnitude of a cut, but we want to make sure,” said ISU chief of staff Jay Groves.

The school board of trustees typically sets new tuition rates at its May meeting, but with the state still facing great financial uncertainty, the school will wait until June to make that decision.

To compensate for the lack of money, lawmakers recommended the school raise tuition rates by about 4-6 percent.

"The goal is to keep it about 2 percent,” said Groves.

That's a rate that school president Larry Dietz would be comfortable with for the new students. A 6 percent increase in tuition, room and board would mean an extra $1,400 in expenses for the average freshman. An increase of 2 percent would be around $500 extra.

Groves says only new students would see the tuition hike.

"So, that's only about a quarter of the students that will be attending Illinois State next year, the rest of them are locked into their tuition rate plan,” said Groves.

The school also would consider other ways to make up for the lack of funding. Those include offering fewer classes, delays on maintenance projects, and fewer dollars for financial aid matching.

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