Ten years ago, 53% of the freshmen we admitted accepted our admission offer. Today, slightly less than 33% accept our offer. There is one and only one reason for this: the cost of in-state tuition. The current cost of a year at Illinois, tuition and housing, for an Illinois resident, is estimated to be between $30,000 to $35,000. This is the second highest in-state cost in the Big Ten (Penn State is slightly higher). Remarkably, our in-state cost is higher than the out-of-state tuition at Indiana University or the University of Ohio. Here are current in-state tuition and living cost comparisons for a few other Big Ten schools:

University of Iowa $21,000

The Ohio State University $21,600

Indiana University $21,400

The annual cost of a year at the University of Illinois for a state resident is in many cases nearly $15,000 more than other state schools in the area. It makes perfect sense, therefore that we have seen a drop in Illinois undergradutates over the past ten years, from 24,000 in 2005 to 22,700 this year.

Professor of Journalism Jay Rosenstein has an idea for lowering tuition for all of our juniors or all of our seniors from Illinois by 25%. His idea is meant to spark discussion of the fiscal burden we are placing on Illinois familiesand also to draw attention to an amazing source of new revenue that could be used to help Illinois students. You can view his proposal at www.loweruofituition.org and from there you can find a link to sign his petition. We recommend that you support this proposal if you think that something must be done to reverse the spiraling costs of tuition to our state’s students.