Update Thursday:

University of Illinois trustees at their main meeting Thursday gave final approval to tuition, fee, and housing rates for the 2022-2023 school year.

Trustees heard comments from Interim Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs Avijit Ghosh, repeating much of what he told a committee meeting Wednesday about why the hike is necessary.

Trustee Stuart King, an Urbana doctor, was a reluctant no vote. “I don’t like the tuition increase when we have so many expenses,” King said. But he acknowledged, “We need it.”

Board chairperson Don Edwards added, “Any tuition increase is always difficult, but [the administration’s proposal] is extremely persuasive.” Edwards also highlighted the financial aid the school offers.

***

Original story Wednesday:

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — After freezing tuition for in-state undergraduate students in six of the past seven years, the University of Illinois is proposing a tuition hike for the 2022-2023 school year.

School trustees met in a committee Wednesday to discuss the matter, then final approval is expected at the full trustees meeting Thursday.

U of I President Tim Killeen at Wednesday’s meeting said the decision came after “extensive conversations” and was “not taken lightly” by top school officials. Trustees did not shoot down the proposal on Wednesday, but some urged the administration to continue to explore financial aid opportunities.

“These are real dollars for our students and their families,” said trustee Tami Craig Schilling, referring to cost of attendance.

A document prepared for trustees proposed a 1.8% increase for in-state undergraduate students on the Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses and a 1.5% increase on the Springfield campus. For out-of-state and international undergraduate students on all three campuses, the hike ranged from 1.5% to 2.5%.

Tuition for most graduate students would also increase between 1.5% and 2.5%. Online programs would see a hike of 2.5% or less.

“These recommendations acknowledge the financial needs of the colleges after a long period of tuition freeze while being mindful of the need to maintain access and affordability for students,” the document for trustees said.

Translated to dollars and cents, an in-state freshman in the fall of 2022 in general studies would pay $6,237 per semester, a $110 increase from the fall of 2021. State law said those rates will follow that class of students throughout their four years.

The U of I froze tuition from 2015 to 2019 and in 2021. The school’s “Illinois Commitment” program also offers four years of free tuition for students who qualify financially.

Additionally, U of I officials are proposing to trustees a 1.63%, or $26, increase in fees for students on the Urbana-Champaign campus next fall. Those fees help pay for things like bus service and library service.

The U of I is also planning a 1.8% increase in housing costs on the Urbana-Champaign campus. The basic two-person room without air conditioning would go from $11,392 in the 2021-2022 school year to $11,598 in the 2022-2023 school year, an increase of $206. For university-owned apartments, the hike would range from .63% to 1.64%. Students who continue to live in university housing after their first year will see their rates locked in for up to four years.