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Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Tuition & Fees

Southern Illinois University Carbondale   Tuition and Fees

Alternate Tuition Rates


1.  What is an Alternate Tuition Rate?

The SIU Board of Trustees has granted permission for the Chancellor to charge Alternate Tuition Rates for special situations and/or special populations, thus improving the recruitment of students who might not otherwise attend SIU Carbondale.  These rates represent a reduction of the otherwise applicable tuition rate under which the student would normally be assessed.

Tuition is only one type of charge billed to students by the University.  Nearly all students will also pay some mixture of general student fees, while many students will pay University Housing charges.  Some individual courses also have course-specific fees that are charged as a condition of enrollment in such a course.  The discussion of Alternate Tuition Rates on this page has to do with reducing only the tuition charges, not these fees or other charges on a student's bill.  (More information about fees may be found here.)


2.  What Alternate Tuition Rates (ATRs) may be available to me as an SIUC student?

  • Border State ATR .............. (effective Fall 2009 for qualifying new undergraduate [first-time freshman & transfer] students and new graduate students)
          – for qualifying students coming from the border states of MO, KY, IN, TN, and AR
          – effective Fall 2014, also for qualifying students coming from the border states of IA and WI
          – effective Fall 2017, this ATR will no longer be offered to undergraduates due to a change in domestic undergraduate tuition1
  • Southern Stars ATR .......... (effective Fall 2009 for qualifying new undergraduate [first-time freshman] students)
          – for qualifying students from southern Illinois who are Pell-eligible and who completed a rigorous high school program of study
          – effective Fall 2017, this ATR will no longer be offered to new undergraduates
  • Legacy ATR ........................ (effective Fall 2011 for qualifying new undergraduate [first-time freshman & transfer] students)
          – for qualifying in-state and out-of-state students whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) graduated from SIU Carbondale
          – effective Fall 2017, this ATR will not change and will continue to be offered to qualifying undergraduates as it had been prior to Fall 2017
  • High Achievers ATR .......... (effective Fall 2013 for qualifying new undergraduate [first-time freshman & transfer] students)
          – for qualifying students recognized as an Out-of-State Scholar
          – effective Fall 2017, this ATR will no longer be offered to domestic undergraduates due to a change in domestic undergraduate tuition1
  • Veterans/Military ATR ....... (effective Fall 2013 for qualifying new undergraduate [first-time freshman & transfer] students and new graduate students)
          – for qualifying out-of-state students who are actively serving in, or who have been honorably discharged from, the US Armed Forces
          – effective Fall 2017, this ATR will no longer be offered to undergraduates due to a change in domestic undergraduate tuition1
  • GS High Achievers ATR .... (effective Fall 2016 for qualifying new graduate students)
          – for qualifying out-of-state graduate students with high scores on entrance exams
          – effective Fall 2017, this ATR will not change and will continue to be offered to qualifying graduate students as it had been prior to Fall 2017
  • Active Duty Military ATR ... (effective Fall 2016 for qualifying undergraduate students and graduate students)
          – for qualifying students who are actively serving in the US Armed Forces
          – effective Fall 2017, this ATR will not change and will continue to be offered to qualifying students as it had been prior to Fall 2017

For the above ATRs that note qualifications for undergraduates, undergraduates would be admitted as transfer students if they, when applying to SIUC, have completed any post-secondary work (including a full Associate's or Bachelor's degree) after finishing high school.  Applicants coming to SIUC straight out of high school would be admitted as first-time freshmen.

Please note that several of the above ATRs will be changing effective Fall 2017.  This is due to a change in undergraduate tuition for out-of-state domestic students happening then.1  More information about that change is here.


3.  Can I qualify for an ATR if I was an SIUC student at some point before the ATR went into effect?

No.  Once an Alternate Tuition Rate (ATR) goes into effect, it is available only to the incoming students specified for that ATR.  Students who are re-entering or continuing during the semester that the ATR goes into effect are excluded, as are former students who began before the semester the ATR went into effect and who may later return after that semester.2


4.  If I happen to qualify for two ATRs, can I use both at the same time (for an even lower rate)?

No.  Since each Alternate Tuition Rate (ATR) is really just a dollar amount charge per credit hour of registration, a student cannot take advantage of more than one ATR at the same time.3  Whichever ATR will provide the best financial benefit to the student is the one that will be used as that student's tuition rate.  Incoming students who believe that they qualify for more than one ATR can check with the appropriate Admissions Office for help in determining the best ATR to use for their particular situation.


5.  If an ATR lowers my non-resident tuition rate to that of the resident rate, does that mean I'm a resident?

No.  In such a case, the ATR is offering you the benefit of tuition that is equivalent to the resident tuition rate, but that does not mean that you are considered an Illinois resident for tuition assessment purposes.  Since there may be other advantages to formally establishing Illinois residency for tuition assessment purposes, please see here for how to do so (if you are eligible to do so).


6.  How does an ATR affect any tuition credits that I may get?

Many students get credits against their tuition charges to help them pay for their education.  Such credits may be in the form of scholarships, grants, or waivers.4  Many of those credits will come from SIUC or the state of Illinois, but others will come from any number of other private or governmental sources.5  Depending on the definition of the credit, the dollar amount of the credit may change if an ATR comes into play.

For example, a credit which is defined as a waiver of 50% of the student's charged tuition – such as the tuition waiver that is an employee benefit for children of seven-year employees6 – will be a different dollar amount if the student qualifies for an ATR.  On the other hand, a credit which is defined as a scholarship for $1,000 of the student's charged tuition will not be different due to an ATR.  In both cases, the net amount of tuition for which the student will ultimately be liable should still be lower because of the tuition credit.


7.  Do I have to do anything extra to get an ATR?

The Legacy ATR requires submitting an additional application (which verifies the SIUC graduate and the relationship to the student).  The Veterans/Military ATR and the Active Duty Military ATR each require submitting official identification documentation (which verifies the student's US military service).  The Southern Stars ATR requires submitting a FAFSA for the aid year that corresponds to the student's first term at SIUC (which verifies the student's federal Pell Grant eligibility).  All of these additional requirements must be done in a timely manner.

The other ATRs each have a process where the University takes information and/or documentation that should have already been provided by the student in conjunction with the application for admission – such as transcripts and test scores – to evaluate qualification.  However, failing to provide that information and/or documentation completely and in a timely manner may disqualify the student from getting an ATR.


8.  Do I have any other options for a lower tuition rate if I do not qualify for an ATR?

University policy permits many out-of-state students who meet certain conditions to be reclassified as Illinois residents for tuition assessment purposes.  To find out more about the application process for this reclassification, see here.7

If it turns out that the student is not able to take advantage of reclassification, and that the student is planning on taking distance education classes – at one of our off-campus locations or online – that student should keep in mind that our distance education class sections are assessed tuition at resident-equivalent (in-state) tuition rates.  Thus, even students who are classified as non-resident (out-of-state) will not have to pay non-resident tuition rates for distance education class sections.




1 Out-of-state domestic undergraduate students will be charged the resident (in-state) tuition rate starting Fall 2017.  This change to undergraduate tuition applies to incoming domestic students as well as to continuing and re-entering domestic students.  This change will also affect the use of various ATRs that some students would otherwise have qualified for prior to this change.  More information about this change may be found here.

2 There is an exception to this rule for the Active Duty Military ATR.  By presidential directive, the eligibility for this ATR, starting Fall 2016, was amended to include students "whether or not they were previously enrolled."

3 In other words, the per credit hour tuition rate resulting from an ATR is simply a lesser charge than what would be the case without an ATR.  ATRs are not to be looked at as "discounts" that can be combined as if tuition was the purchase of a product or service from a retailer giving various discounts.  While it is possible that a student could qualify for more than one ATR, only one can be applied to that student at any given time.

4 A credit is not a reduced tuition charge but is a type of payment against the tuition charge.  It just so happens that the student who gets one of these credits is having some other entity make that payment on their behalf so that the student does not have to make that payment.

5 Just one example of a credit that some students are eligible for are the educational benefits available to US military active duty personnel and veterans (and, in some cases, even their dependents) under the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) and the Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30).

6 Information about the tuition waiver for children of seven-year employees is available here.  Eligible employees who wish to take advantage of this waiver should complete this form and submit it to Human Resources.  The waiver should be available to the child of an eligible employee regardless of which ATR that child may qualify for (or even if the child does not qualify for any ATR).

7 Out-of-state students who do qualify for an ATR that reduces their tuition to an amount that is equivalent to an in-state tuition rate are still considered non-residents for tuition assessment purposes.  An out-of-state student who wishes to be reclassified as an Illinois resident for tuition assessment purposes must apply for and meet the conditions for reclassification as noted here.