NIU to maintain undergraduate tuition, room and board costs

student-raised-handNorthern Illinois University will maintain in-state, undergraduate tuition at the current level through the 2016-17 academic year.

Members of the NIU Board of Trustees agreed today with President Doug Baker’s recommendation for no increase in tuition for full-time students. Costs for room and board also will remain at current levels through the spring semester of 2017.

With a modest $10 dollar-per-year increase in student fees requested by student leaders to support bus transit and student activities, the total cost of attendance for all full-time students will rise by less than one-tenth of 1 percent.

Today’s vote reflects pricing consistent with NIU’s current market, Baker said, while it also demonstrates the university’s deep commitment to providing accessibility and affordability for students who are pursuing brighter futures through college educations.

“As we clearly saw in October during the student-led rally for MAP grant funding, the ability to pay for a higher education is a critical issue,” Baker said.

“Despite the prolonged state budget impasse in Springfield, we are determined to do what we can to bring new students to NIU and to help our current students stay on their paths to career success. That’s why we temporarily credited MAP grant funding for the fall and will do so again in the spring,” the president added. “We hope that holding the line on tuition as well as room and board will assist our students even more during these challenging financial times.”

Board Chair Marc Strauss said that he and his fellow trustees are “mindful of concerns about both the cost of higher education and the competitive environment.”

cheerleaderAs a result, he added, the “board desires to support the effort of the administration to respond to those concerns.”

“When coupled with the protection of the truth-in-tuition provisions, the board’s action in approving this proposal should go a long way toward reassuring potential students that NIU will make every reasonable effort to control cost while maintaining quality,” Strauss said. “We want potential students and their families to understand that attending NIU and experiencing all it offers is a compelling value.”

The current structure – approved at this time last year – encourages college completion by capping tuition costs for new students at 12 credit hours, meaning that incoming students would pay the same tuition cost if they take 12 credit hours, 15 hours or 18 or more hours. New students enrolled in 16 hours this fall are paying about $200 less in tuition than their counterparts from the fall of 2014.

Tuition, fee and room-and-board rate recommendations are sent to the NIU Board of Trustees in December – many other colleges and universities wait until later in the year – to give students a head start in their pursuit of financial aid and in their decision-making process about housing for the next school year.

The move also bolsters NIU as it moves toward fiscal sustainability; advance notice of next year’s costs encourages student persistence, fosters a more vibrant campus and university community and allows Baker’s cabinet to finalize annual operating and capital budgets in June rather than September.

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