Contact: Melanie Magara, Office of Public Affairs
June 11, 2007
DeKalb, IL – The Finance, Facilities and Operations Committee of the NIU Board of Trustees recommended today that the university approve a 10.8 percent increase in tuition for students entering in the fall of 2007.
If the increase is approved, new undergraduate students will pay $205 per credit hour. For a student taking 16 hours or more per semester that translates to tuition of $6,150 for the 2007-2008 academic year, an increase of $600 over a year ago.
Under the Truth-in-Tuition law, incoming freshmen and transfer students will be charged that same rate for the next eight consecutive semesters. NIU has added an additional “grace semester” to that period, freezing rates for nine semesters. The law helps families better calculate the cost of a college education in advance.
NIU President John Peters said he wished the university could have proposed a smaller increase, but current economic realities would not allow it.
“It is difficult to peer four years into the future and estimate exactly what our costs will be. However, we can say with almost absolute certainty that our costs won’t be going down, and it is unlikely that we will see any substantial increase in state funding to offset those costs,” said Peters. “We have tried to be as conservative as possible in our estimates to ensure that an NIU degree remains affordable, while still ensuring that we have the funds to maintain the value of that degree.”
The proposed tuition rates reflect the end of a sliding tuition scale at NIU that rewarded students who took heavier class loads by charging lower per-hour tuition. The goal of that program was to encourage students to graduate in four years, an incentive that is now provided by the Truth-in-Tuition law. The return to a flat rate also makes it easier for students to calculate costs from one semester to the next and dramatically simplifies calculations for things like financial aid.
Students will still only pay for a maximum of 16 hours per semester, with additional hours free of charge.
The committee also recommended a 10.8 percent increase in tuition for graduate students (from $204 an hour to $226 per hour) and law students (from $398 per hour to $441 per hour).
Other public universities across the state have announced undergraduate tuition increases ranging from 8.4 percent to 14 percent.
The proposed tuition rates will be presented for final approval at the June 21 meeting of the NIU Board of Trustees.