Upcoming Changes in Tuition Rates

Desiree Dylong, News Editor


In the President’s Report to the Board of Trustees, Action item I.B.  Tuition and Free Recommendations, pertains to a proposed change in tuition and fees. This item was discussed at length during the Board of Trustees meeting held on Thursday Feb. 21, 2014.

The recommended rates were 4.4 percent increase in tuition for incoming students and also a 6.9 percent increase for students who have been at the University for more than six years.

In the President’s Report to the Board of Trustees, it states that one of the reasons for this tuition increase.  In a Board of Trustees Meeting held in April of 2012, the Board implemented the rates for tuition and fees for the 2013 school year. The result was that fee rates and tuition would not be raised in 2013 for new students along with grad students. Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) was the only public University in Illinois to not raise tuition rates. However, according to the President’s Report, during this time, “The University received no additional state funding and enrollment did not increase as a result of this action.”

The President’s Report also explains how even if the University were to raise tuition, the rates would be less than other Illinois public Universities “A modest tuition increase will leave Northeastern with tuition costs well below state average tuition rates for Illinois Public Universities.”

The tuition increase is also a means to make up for the lack of state funding that the University has received. Because of lack of state funding, along with enrollment not increasing, there’s a possibility that NEIU budget cuts will also occur.

According to the President’s Report, “Over the past three fiscal years, state funding to the University has declined, on average, 4.5 percent per year. Should that trend continue into fiscal year 2014, and most indications are that this will be the case, the University will have a budgetary gap of $ 1.7 million due to decreased state funding that would need to be replaced with tuition revenue.”

At the latest Board meeting on Feb 21st, most members of the Board were in favor of the proposed increases. Board Member Jonathan H. Stein of Wilmette Illinois proposed to raise tuition more than 4.4 percent.  However, Jin Lee, Vice Chair and Jesus H. Nuñez, Student Chair, voted “no” to raise tuition and fees. Jin Lee proposed that the University should consider other ways in order to avoid increasing costs. The proposal passed with a non-unanimous vote of ‘Yes,’ so the rates for tuition and fees for the upcoming year are going to be raised for both incoming students and long-term students.