SIU leaders look at tuition increase

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - If you plan to head to college in Illinois next year, you may have to pay more. Students bound for the University of Illinois will face a 6.9 percent tuition increase. Meanwhile, leaders at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale are also looking at a 9 percent tuition increase.

It's an increase SIU President Glenn Poshard says is needed to keep the university and it's programs functioning at a level students have come to expect.

"We've tried to hold it down now we're at a point where we can't do that any longer."

Efforts to control costs include furlough days, a hiring freeze, along with, the elimination of some positions.  Still Poshard says in the current economic climate those actions are not enough to pay bills. He says the university's been forced to function at 1999 state funding levels. Poshard adds on top that, the state is $150 million behind on payments.

"So those two things combined we have to raise tuition to pay our bills, to keep up and 9 percent is just a figure that we looked at and said okay at a minimum, this is what we need just to get by and maintain our programs," Poshard said.

Poshard says if the board of trustees approves the increase, only the incoming class of freshman will pay more.

Sophomore Laura Aughenbuagh walks to class Monday afternoon. While her tuition is not part of the increase, Aughenbuagh says what she pays already leaves her pocket book pretty thin.

"I couldn't image having to pay even 9 percent more or how much it's going to be," Aughenbuagh. "It's already a lot."

Poshard says he'll present the tuition increase to the board of trustees next month. They're expected to vote take a vote at the May meeting.

SIU increased tuition two years ago. At the time, the increase was four percent.

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