The 2 percent tuition increase for incoming undergraduate students at Illinois State University was finalized by the Board of Trustees (BOT) Friday.
Starting this fall, classes will be $349 per credit hour for in-state undergraduates, and $602 per credit hour for out-of-state students, according to the Pantagraph.
“We haven’t found any professors at any university willing to not increase the cost for four consecutive years,” McCuskey said. This is what led to the increase.
This increase will only affect new students, however, McCuskey said; current students have their price locked in for four years. In fact, ISU is one of the few universities who lock in prices, he said.
Incoming students will also have this new price guaranteed for four years, due to the state’s “truth-in-tuition” law.
Because it is a four-year fixture, it will seem like a smaller increase from year to year, McCuskey added.
Chief of Staff Jay Groves believes it was a good decision for the university to make this change.
“I think it is a very responsible and modest increase,” Groves said. “If you figure in room and board, the increase is only 1.6 percent.”
According to the Pantagraph, the dining plan rates will remain the same as previous years, but the residence hall rates will be affected by this increase.
However, ISU has the smallest room and board tuition compared to any other university in Illinois, Groves said. Many others have actually been increasing their housing tuition recently, making ISU’s increase the smallest.
On the other hand, McCuskey said this increase might be a mistake due to the current economy.
“It could be a big mistake because it requires the inflation rate to not go up,” McCuskey said. “If it increases, we will have financial problems.”
The inflation in the United States is at its lowest in 50 years, he said.
However, McCuskey assumes most families will have at least a 2 percent increase on their overall income in the next year, which will help with balance.
“We believe we are being financially conservative,” he said.
Incoming students and their parents were informed of the possible increase when visiting in the fall and spring.
“It won’t come as a surprise to students or families this year because we had to wait for their affects,” Groves explained. “When it was set in May, students had already committed to ISU.”
McCuskey said this is the lowest increase in tuition that ISU has had in 10 years.