Illinois State University's Board of Trustees formally approved a 3 percent increase in tuition, fees, and room and board at a Trustee's meeting Friday.
For students who are Illinois residents, the increase amounts to an additional $10.78 per credit hour. ISU President Larry Dietz said the increase is necessary because of a $60 million short fall in the university's budget despite an expected infusion of stop gap funds by the state.
"Three percent is a modest increase. It really is only a tad above inflationary cost," said Dietz. "We had to do that to try to make ends meet."
Students enrolling this Fall will continue to pay this rate through summer of 2020. Dining rates will increase by 1 percent for the upcoming academic year. New out-of-state, full-time undergraduate students will face a 19.4 percent increase per credit hour. The increase represents a more market appropriate rate when compared to other Illinois public universities.
Dietz said the increase will not affect roughly 70 percent of ISU students. He added this is not the only step the university has taken to fill the budget gap.
"We're being very conservative about hirings. As a matter of fact, we're not doing very many of those at all at this point. We're not doing layoffs and furloughs, but there's over 90 positions that have not been filled," said Dietz. "We're not addressing deferred maintenance issues. We're not buying very much equipment at this point."
Dietz also said with the ongoing budget impasse in Springfield, the outlook for gaining full funding from the state remains uncertain.
"This is unchartered water at this point," said Dietz. "We just hope that the state will realize the image of higher education in the state continues to be tarnished by everyday that goes by that we don't have full funding of higher education."
Board Chairman Rocky Donahue said the stop gap funding the state approved last month sent Illinois State $20.9 million. He added "the madness has to stop" and if no more appropriations are approved, that will be the equal to the funding the state sent the school in 1970.