U N I V E R S I T Y   O F   I L L I N O I S


December 8, 2000 Contact: Susan Trebach, 312-996-3771, strebach@uillinois.edu
  Mark Rosati, 312-996-5546, rosati@uic.edu

Major Technology, Education Improvements tied to Special Tuition Increase for New Students Only; Financial Aid offsets impact to Neediest

URBANA—A special tuition increase for new University of Illinois students will result in improved student services and programs, enhanced educational technology and expanded enrollment in key high demand courses and disciplines, University leaders announced Thursday.

The increase of $500 per year for each of two years at the Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses will provide specific benefits to the new students who pay it. The higher tuition begins in Fall 2001 for freshmen and other first-time students only, pending approval by the U of I Board of Trustees. Students and parents least able to pay will be held harmless with additional financial aid to offset the higher costs.

Current students will see their tuition rates climb by 3% at the Chicago campus and 5% at Urbana-Champaign next fall.

"High quality costs money, and our newest students will directly benefit from the new programs and systems we will put in place during the next several years," said University of Illinois President James J. Stukel.

"For a decade we have held the line on tuition increases," he said. "Tuition increases at Urbana-Champaign have been among the lowest of Big Ten universities, and UIC's tuition increases have been near the bottom of the IBHE (Illinois Board of Higher Education) peer group," he continued.

The new tuition increase applies only to new students because they will be the primary beneficiaries of the educational program and service improvements, said Chester S. Gardner, interim vice president for academic affairs. Students entering the Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses for the first time in Fall 2001 would pay an additional $500 in tuition for that year. In Fall 2002, a second increase of $500 would be added, bringing the total increase to $1,000 by the end of that academic year.

"The special tuition will allow the Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses to make a series of vital improvements, such as expanding enrollment, improving academic and career advising, expanding course access, upgrading access to libraries and using the latest technology to handle admissions, financial aid and tracking academic progress," Gardner said. "Some of these benefits will be truly remarkable, while others will be both welcome and expected of a top quality university," he said.

Students currently enrolled will not pay the special increase because they and their parents have not had the opportunity to plan for increases of this magnitude, and because these students will not directly benefit from most of the improvements, he said.

Gardner noted that the University of Illinois received nearly $1,200 less in state tax support per student during the current fiscal year (FY2000) than it did 20 years ago, once inflation and enrollment changes are factored in. "Tuition increases in the last two decades have not overcome this loss of state support," he said. "We need to close the gap."

At the Urbana-Champaign campus, the additional revenue ($23 million per year by the fourth year of implementation) will be used to:

  • Expand course offerings in fields of high demand, including information technology, business, arts, humanities and social sciences;
  • Improve library services - increasing hours, expanding group study spaces and increasing on-line access to library collections;
  • Improve academic advising across colleges by expanding advising staff and adding web-based degree status information;
  • Expand the number of living/learning communities to serve additional students;
  • Expand career advising to all undergraduates;
  • Increase "capstone" research and small group experiences for upper-class students;
  • Expand access to and improve study abroad programs.

"We provide our students the knowledge they need to prepare for leadership roles in the state's businesses, government, educational system and many other fields," said Michael Aiken, chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus. "To ensure our students receive the best education a nationally ranked university can provide, it is essential that we continue to enhance the learning experience offered here."

At the Chicago campus, the additional revenue (about $12 million per year in the fourth year) will be used to:

  • Create 24/7 access to libraries and librarians via the Internet;
  • Expand course offerings in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UIC's largest college;
  • Meet the surging demand for courses in computer engineering and computer sciences by hiring new faculty in those key programs;
  • Increase the number of state-of-the-art student computer laboratories and maintain existing labs;
  • Expand the libraries' book and serial collections;
  • Improve academic advising by increasing the number of advisers;
  • Create learning communities for residential and commuter students to enhance academic achievement and retention.

"This tuition plan both strengthens the quality and value of a UIC education and keeps the door wide open for students who need the greatest financial support to attend college," said Sylvia Manning, chancellor of the Chicago campus.

Students at all three University of Illinois campuses (including Springfield) will also benefit from a series of student-system improvements designed to radically upgrade admissions, registration, financial aid, course scheduling and academic record-tracking.

Students will be able to:

  • Add or drop courses, check tuition and other charges, check financial aid and print schedules, all on-line;
  • Check on course availability and use an automated wait list for high-demand courses;
  • View and print grade reports, request transcripts and account balances and make a series of transactions any time of day or night.

"Once the new tuition program is fully in place, it will be easier for students to register for the courses they want and it will be more likely they will have the courses they need," said Stukel. "Libraries, advising and study abroad will be more accessible, and the Internet will be the convenient way to provide both existing and new services at any hour."

While all students benefit from this special tuition program, it preserves access to our neediest students by sharply increasing financial aid, Stukel said. "In recent years state taxpayers, alumni and other donors and the federal government have all shouldered greater responsibility for funding the University of Illinois. Now we need our newest students and their parents to increase their share."


Copyright © 1999 by University of Illinois at Chicago. All rights reserved.
News Bureau home Campus Forum Weekly Advisory Experts Guide News Bureau Staff News Tips Index News Bureau home