Although the SIU Board of Trustees has only considered an increase in tuition and fees so far, some university leaders say it is necessary.
The board looked at raising tuition 4.8 percent along with other student fees during a board meeting March 22. This increase comes on top of last year’s 6.9 percent rise in tuition. While the trustees will not vote on the matter until the next meeting May 10, some students are already showing opposition to the idea.
SIU President Glenn Poshard said the proposal to increase tuition is because of state funding cuts.
Poshard said representatives from Gov. Pat Quinn’s office told him there would be a flat budget for the next fiscal year. He said in recent weeks that assurance has changed and now the university must come up with the money necessary to make up for a possible cut from the state.
Poshard said the university’s financial struggles have also increased because the school, and not the state, is now responsible for pensions.
Despite the proposal to increase tuition, Poshard said SIU has the lowest tuition rate among in-state research universities and the university will not sacrifice quality of education to its students.
Poshard said the decision whether or not to vote on the tuition proposal will occur in May.
Since 2004, SIU has increased student annual tuition from $6,975 to $7,794, according to information provided by the SIU’s Financial Aid Office website.
Chancellor Rita Cheng said the increase in fees and tuition is needed to prevent the quality of education from dropping.
Cheng said the increase would also include a 10.2 percent increase in insurance and a 1.94 percent increase in fees. She said the increase in tuition is very modest compared to other state universities.
The possible increase in tuition has gained mixed reactions from students.
Joon Hong, a senior from Northbrook studying sociology, said he thinks the tuition increase is necessary as long as it is for a good reason, such as increasing professor salaries.
He said he believes the administration should reorganize itself and should cut funds to programs that have not shown improvement over recent years.
Hong said he thinks the school should keep better track of its budget and spending and remove students who are not showing signs of academic improvement to avoid further tuition increases.
Colin Ratermann, a senior from Breese studying biology education, said he thinks the increase in tuition is not a problem as long as the money is going toward funding programs.
He said he believes the athletic department should receive a cut in its budget to help prevent further fee increases.
Josh Copple, a junior from Minooka studying education, said he does not think the tuition increase is a good idea.
Copple said he does not feel the increase in tuition would help him receive a better education than the one he is being provided. He said he believes programs, such as sports, should receive a budget cut.