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University of Illinois to consider raising tuition

Monday, Mar 24, 2008

* This week Trustees at the University of Illinois will be considering a proposal that would bump tuition at its Champaign and Chicago campuses by 8 percent next school year:

The proposal to be taken up next week would push the costs for new undergraduates in Champaign above $20,000 for the first time. The plan would set tuition, fees, room and board at the flagship campus at $20,034. Students paid $18,550 last year.

New undergraduates at the Chicago campus would also see an 8 percent increase, to $18,670.

* All I can say is that I am thankful for the state’s tuition freeze. Four years ago my tuition was no where even close to that proposal. A recently released study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research found of the 95 percent of Chicago Public School students who planned to go on to post-secondary education in 2005, only 59 percent applied to a four-year college. Only 41 percent of students ultimately enrolled the fall after graduation.

Jenny Nagaoka, a co-author of the study and researcher at the consortium, had the following to say:

“There’s a huge gap between students accepted to school and those who actually enroll. The primary reason why is because they did not fill out their financial aid forms.”

* The study can be applied to almost any district, including those in suburban Chicago, where immigrants and their children made up 33 percent of the population in 2005.

The majority of those individuals are Latinos living in the Northwest and Western suburbs, and the study concluded that they fared the worst with 46 percent applying to four-year colleges, yet only 30 percent actually enrolling in the fall.

The study concluded that Chicago high schools must be more proactive in structuring the application process during junior and senior years, and commit to a fostering a better college bound environment:

“Tracking (financial aid form) completion is a significant improvement, but it won’t dramatically change outcomes unless schools work earlier to help families and students understand what financial aid is and how funding is available,” Nagaoka said.

* This task will undoubtedly become harder for these schools with ever increasing state tuitions. Discuss.

- Posted by Kevin Fanning        

17 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 11:06 am:

    You have to wonder how motivated someone is to go to and succeed in college is they don’t fill out the financial aid form. It’s not that tough and you get money at the end. JC might be a good place to start.


  2. - Give us a Break - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 11:14 am:

    $20,000 a year to attend a state supported school, this is getting out of hand. What is driving up these costs? Oh, wait, I know, the lack of funding support from the State. While were saling the lottery, I wonder how much Harvard or Yale would pay Illinois to take over our campuses and privatize the system?


  3. Pingback Random thoughts on 20,034 & 1,350… « Illinois Reason - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 11:14 am:

    […] Clearly, one box of Life will cover their tuitions at the U of I. Move over Mikey. Blogroll […]


  4. - steve schnorf - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 11:40 am:

    I’m intrigued by the fact that it costs less to educate a student in downtown Chicago than in Urbana. That seems counterintuitive.


  5. - Leroy - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 11:41 am:

    How odd. The easier it is to get a student loan, the more expensive tuition becomes.

    Odd indeed.


  6. - Frank Booth - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 12:04 pm:

    That four-year tuition freeze also ensures these types of increases. Since the schools can’t hike tuition during your higher education journey, they have to sock four years worth of tuition hikes to each incoming freshman class.


  7. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 12:10 pm:

    I wonder how much Chicago State University costs, considering how much waste goes on at that place and how much money it gets each year thanks to Emil Jones.


  8. - SIUPROF - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 1:33 pm:

    Give us a break: Harvard and Yale have endowments of over $1 billion they use to cover the costs of their institutions that tuition does not. We state schools do not have that luxury-We rely on the state and when the state fails to live up to its part of the bargain, students and their families get tagged. In effect the state is upping the user fees and blaming the state universities. Our costs are going through the roof. Just heating and cooling is up about a third. Try dealing with maintaining and utilities for 100 buildings on a fixed income and see how difficult it is. And by the way-Perhaps if you had paid better attention in school, you would not have trouble with the word selling.


  9. - Pat Collins - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 5:06 pm:

    I am SO GLAD I bought a college Illinois prepaid tuition. I knew it would be a good deal, but I had no idea it would be this good.


  10. - Trafficmatt - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 5:22 pm:

    As a father who will be coughing up a large chunk of cash starting in 5 years for my 2 children, this is pretty scary %&*(.

    I cannot help but bringing up a point that Ravenswood stepped a little toe into and that is the overall waste at Universities. I didn’t go to school in this state, so maybe things are a LOT different here, but I’m guessing that they are not. I had profs that would teach (2) 2-hour classes that would each meet twice for the entire week. That is about 8 hours in the classroom for a 40-hour week. It would be different if they had a lot of research projects and were bringing in a ton of dough for the school, but they weren’t. The basic question, and I know I’m probably going to get slammed on this, but what the heck, are profs working hard enough?

    SIUPROF brings up good points about endowments and the rising costs of utilities. Fair enough, but that is not where the large percentage of costs go. We had lots of pet projects that were in the particular department that I was in at my university. Projects that had very little financial sense to the outside world, but still got funded through the college. There is a ton of waste in the university system. Obviously, there are a great number of profs and support workers that really work hard, and hats off to them. However, there are also a good number that do not.

    The trouble is that I am guessing this is pretty universal across the country. So, it is not like one college can change the way that they are doing things and suddenly they are doing great, because professors would just switch to a different college where things are not so tough.

    If we are going to continue to lead the world on an economic footing with more and more jobs becoming more “high-tech”, we need a better trained work force and we will need colleges in a bigger way. However, we need to make university education more affordable for a greater number of students.


  11. - Dad - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 6:10 pm:

    Tuition costs are rising so quickly because a few are subsidizing the masses. What is the percentage of students revieving aid at U of I? I think you will find like most four year schools it is a small minority that pay the fulll cost. Tuition costs haven’t risen so much as it’s a shrinking group of students subsidizing a greater portion of the whole.


  12. - Truthful James - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 7:06 pm:

    Somewhere a decision has to be made. Are the Universities research schools or teaching schools?

    Should the faculties be divided (without losing tax exempt status) between each function.

    There is implicit recognition of this already as faculty members in the hard sciences for research corporations, share patents with the universities. Economics and Business Schools as well.

    Now what to do about the extra graduate glut in the humanities. PhDs are in oversupply.


  13. - Michael from Geneva - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 8:44 pm:

    My wife and I met at the U of I Circle (now UIC) campus.
    We paid $97 per quarter in tuition ($291) in 1966.
    I paid approximately $550 per semester to attend the U of I Law School in 1970.
    Without doing the actual math, it seems clear that tuition has risen far in excess of the cost of living since 1966 (and 1970).
    Moreover, we paid approximately $13,000 per year to send our eldest son to a private university (Elmhurst College) as recently as 1995!
    I can’t imagine


  14. - Michael from Geneva - Monday, Mar 24, 08 @ 8:48 pm:

    Oops, let me finish my comment (after hitting the send button a wee early)
    I just can’t imagine paying tuition costs today, or for that matter, the unbearable debt that a student (or parent) has upon graduation.


  15. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Mar 25, 08 @ 8:44 am:

    The more financial help and loans a university can expect their students to depend upon, the higher they will raise the costs.

    Basic economics, remember?


  16. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Mar 25, 08 @ 8:59 am:

    Further to my last post on this thread. I would suggest that — as at least one has suggested — our community colleges become four year teaching institutions with specific curricula in the sciences and other areas to creaste emplyment ready individuals.

    Techniocal subjects can be taught by persons with prior expertise, perhaps in schools run by our military — as long as they have subject matter mastery — and without earned doctorates.

    If you look to the left coast, you will see that many in the “Cal State” (as opposed to the UCal” system started out as two year institutions.

    This will bring down the cost of education.


  17. - Fox Mulder - Tuesday, Mar 25, 08 @ 9:53 pm:

    I don’t even know where to begin to address all the problems with higher ed in Illinois. Some excellent points have already been made here, so I’ll try not to be redundant.

    1) Student fees have also skyrocketed due to passthrough costs, failure of the State to fund capital/maintenance needs, and an obscene (imho) amount of money spent on Taj Mahal non-educational facilities. UIUC bulldozed a structurally sound fitness center and built a new one and another just like like it 2 miles away. Cost: $50 million. (Kevin-correct me if that # is wrong.)

    2) At the UI, budgeting that no one outside the ivory tower, including the Trustees, understands. Why on Earth are the UIUC Alumni Association and the Div. of Athletics getting over $10 million in university support? (I know this one is close. and although they like to deny that they get this dough, it’s deep in the details.)
    Holland also caught their little ENRON scheme and they blamed it, of course, on two guys who retired. My question would be “Why in the heck did you guys have $117 million in walking around money when the State is broke and you are whining 24/7/365 about the State funding cuts?” (The Fed Funds, reserves, and indirect cost is no excuse, as Holland noted.)

    3) The State has an imbalance of supply/demand for higher education that is likely impossible to fix. With a well-regarded community college system playing a larger role in 21st century technical education (as is our military) the need for all the “directional” State universities and their aging infrastructures to crank out undergrads and graduates for jobs that aren’t in demand or don’t exist is an unwise use of scarce tax dollars. Good luck getting one shut down or pared back.

    4) Financial illiteracy of the emerging middle class leaves many qualified students unable to attend the college of their choice, as the study Kevin points out notes. (As an aside, the current “FAFSA” Student Loan Form has won several awards for its absolute incomprehensibility as well as its ability to show parents of modest means appear to be Donald Trump in the eyes of the Student Loan Dept.)


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