U of Illinois president proposing in-state tuition freeze

Main Qua of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Photo from Thinkstock

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (AP) — University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen says he will recommend that the school freeze its base tuition for incoming, in-state freshmen for a fourth consecutive year.

The Chicago Tribune reports Killeen will make the recommendation in an effort to arrest an exodus of Illinois high school graduates to colleges in other states.

If the university’s board approves Killeen’s proposal, Illinois residents will pay $12,036 a year at Urbana-Champaign, $10,584 at Chicago and $9,405 in Springfield. Those numbers do not include required fees or room and board.

The hold-the-line tuition recommendation for the system’s universities in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign will be reviewed Jan. 17 by the Board of Trustees’ Academic and Student Affairs and Governance, Personnel and Ethics committees. The proposal will go to the full board at its Jan. 18 meeting in Chicago.

Following a two-year budget impasse that starved Illinois’ public universities of aid, all but the Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois at Chicago recorded enrollment drops in the fall.

Killeen said the initiative reflects a commitment to access and affordability that has helped drive up system-wide enrollment by 6.6 percent to a record 83,711 students since the fall of 2014, when tuition last increased. That includes 2,213 more in-state undergraduates, which increased 5.2 percent across the system from the fall of 2014 to the fall of 2017.

“This proposal will help keep doors of opportunity open for Illinois students and hold down costs to keep them here at home to study and to use their talents to move our state forward after they graduate,” he said.