University tuition increase second lowest in state

By Gus Bode

SIUC is not the only Illinois university increasing tuition because of cuts in state funding.

Chancellor Sam Goldman said the university has lost nearly $16 million from the state government since 2002 and that loss must be made up.

‘In the best of possible worlds, if the states were providing us with adequate funding, we would not be doing this increase,’ Goldman said.


‘ When the university drew up its budget for this academic year and sent the requests to the Board of Trustees, it asked for 9 percent of its budget to be paid for through the state, Goldman said.

‘The state said, ‘We’re not going to give you 9 percent, but we’re going to give you 4.5 percent,” he said. ‘We had to make up the 4.5 percent difference.’

Goldman said SIUC made up for the lost funds by increasing its tuition rate 4.5 percent. In an effort to further cut costs, Goldman said the university has also adopted a hiring freeze until at least July 2011.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign increased its tuition by 2.6 percent, the lowest increase this year for an Illinois university. SIUC has the second lowest, Goldman said. Eastern Illinois University was among the highest at 9.6 percent, he said.

Jeffrey Donna, director of Eastern Illinois’ financial aid department, said the philosophy at the university is to keep education affordable for everyone, but with a lack in state funding, that philosophy is hard to maintain.

‘You wonder how higher education can stand to charge more and more every year when people can’t afford it,’ Donna said. ‘I think that the cost of higher education has risen way too fast.’

Officials at Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University did not respond to several phone calls placed throughout the past two weeks.


Whatever the amount of increase in tuition, students are the hardest hit when it comes to an increase in any kind of payment, Goldman said.

It is unknown whether tuition rates will continue to rise. Goldman said he does not know anyone who wants to keep increasing the costs.

‘We may not even get the allocation we got this year; we might not get it next year; and if the (Monetary Assistance Program grant) doesn’t show up, we are looking at an even greater headache,’ Goldman said. ‘There are so many unknowns; it shouldn’t have to be that way.’