The Eastern Illinois University Board of Trustees approved tuition and fee increases for the 2007-08 academic year at its meeting on Friday.
Decreased state funding and increased costs over the past several years have made tuition increases inevitable, said EIU President Lou Hencken.
For example, in 2001-02, EIU received $54.8 million in state appropriations; this fiscal year, that amount was $49.5 million, up slightly after three years without an increase.
Among the increasing financial burdens facing the university are skyrocketing utility costs; tuition waivers for veterans, totaling $350,000 with no state reimbursement; and the minimum wage increase, which is expected to boost wages by about $600,000 in the coming year.
EIU is currently recommended for a $904,000 increase in state funding, and that is obviously not enough to cover all of the increases the university will be facing, Hencken said.
“As a steward, I must come before you to say the budget must be balanced,” Hencken said, explaining the need for the tuition increase.
Assege HaileMariam, Faculty Senate chairwoman, addressed the tuition increase during her remarks to the board.
“We feel for our students, because the cost of education is a burden on them,” HaileMariam said. “But we also feel for our institution” as it deals with low funding from the state.
New in-state undergraduate students entering EIU in 2007-08 will pay $194.40 per semester hour, and that rate will be locked in for four continuous academic years, as provided in the state “Truth in Tuition Law.” Students with an average 15-hour course load will pay $2,916 per semester.
The locked-in per-semester-hour tuition rate for returning in-state undergraduate students is as follows, according to the year students entered EIU: 2004-05, $137.75; 2005-06, $154.30; and 2006-07, $173.55. Continuing students who do did not enter in those years will pay $158.65 per semester hour, an increase of $11.10 per semester hour.
New out-of-state undergraduates will pay $583.20 in tuition per semester hour, or $8,748 for an average 15-hour course load. Locked-in per-semester-hour rates for out-of-state undergraduate students will remain unchanged for those who entered in the following years: 2004-05, $413.25; 2005-06, $462.90; and 2006-07, $520.65. Continuing out-of-state undergraduate students who do did not enter in those years will pay $475.95 per semester hour, an increase of $33.30 per semester hour.
Illinois graduate students will pay $189.75 per semester hour, an increase of $20.35 per semester hour. Out-of-state graduate students’ per-semester-hour rate will be $569.25.
Fees vary depending upon the number of credit hours in which a student is enrolled and when they entered the university. For example, a new student taking a full-time, 12-credit-hour course load and opting out of the Accident Insurance Program would pay $858.10 per semester in student fees; a returning student would pay $782.14. These fees include the cost of textbook rental, which saves the average EIU full-time student more than $1,100 per academic year.
The fees compare “extremely favorably” to other institutions, said Dan Nadler, EIU vice president for student affairs.“If not the lowest, they are among the lowest in the state,” Nadler said.