CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - It could cost more for students to start their college career at Southern Illinois University next fall.
The board of trustees will consider a 4.5 percent increase in tuition at its meeting in May.
University leaders aren't just asking families to tighten their belts to send their kids to college, he university itself will be cutting back as well.
While a proposed 4.5 percent tuition increase wouldn't affect current Southern Illinois University students, many of them say they can imagine how having to pay higher tuition could hurt future SIU students.
"I know incoming freshmen right now it'd be in the neighborhood of $20,000 for them, and that's a lot," said SIU junior Rynasha Smith.
"The economy sucks right now. Everyone's struggling, that would affect everyone," said sophomore Rich Serritella.
But, according to SIU President Glenn Poshard, without a tuition increase of some sort, and a one percent increase in funding from the State of Illinois, the university's budget woes could put a pinch on all of southern Illinois.
"We have 7,000 jobs here. If we start laying off, if we start cutting back on personnel, we effect the economy of this entire region. So we have to do everything we can to avoid laying off our people," Poshard said.
That doesn't mean once increases in tuition and state funding are in place that SIU will go on--business as usual. Poshard says the university will have to make sacrifices too.
"There is an expectation there, that we will be efficient and effective in what we do and we'll cut out things that aren't' absolutely necessary," said Poshard.
The president suggests cutting classes with low enrollment numbers, increasing other class sizes, and limiting travel for university officials.
"If we can get the 4.5 percent increase and we can get the one percent increase from the state, then if we can develop the efficiencies we need to build, we can avoid laying people off," said Poshard.
If the SIU Board of Trustees approves any sort of tuition increase in its May meeting, officials say it will only affect incoming freshman for the 2009-2010 school year.