The intent of the tuition stabilization plan at Southern Illinois University is to comply with Illinois state law, which was developed in an attempt to address the concern that students and their families need to be able to plan for the cost of tuition.
Southern Illinois University has been a leader in delivering a high-quality educational experience to its students at an affordable price. The guaranteed tuition plan offers stabilization and predictability of tuition costs according to a tuition schedule that will remain unchanged for four years for each cohort.
The Illinois state legislature passed HB 1118 (Public Act 093-0228) that mandates a guaranteed tuition rate for public universities in the state, beginning with the 2004-2005 academic year. (For SIU, this new law became 110 ILCS 520/15.) The law ensures that the tuition rate first charged to an undergraduate student will remain constant for a period of four continuous academic years following initial enrollment, unless the student changes to a major that is charged a different tuition rate.
The law does not apply to room and board nor does it apply to mandatory fees, program fees, and/or course-specific fees. Further, the law does not apply to graduate or professional students.
The Guaranteed Tuition Stabilization Plan becomes effective with the Fall 2004 cohort of newly enrolled SIUC undergraduate students. The Guarantee will extend for four years upon initial enrollment at SIUC. For example, if a student enters SIUC in the Fall 2006 semester, the Guarantee for that student will expire at the end of the Summer 2010 session. The cohort to which a student is assigned is based on the term in which the student first enrolls at SIUC.
Students who are guaranteed to have a fixed tuition rate for four continuous years upon initial enrollment at SIUC include 1) resident or nonresident undergraduate students who first enroll at SIUC during the Fall 2004 term or later, and 2) undergraduate re-entry resident or nonresident students already in a cohort whose Guarantee has not yet expired. Although the law only guarantees the tuition rate of resident students, SIUC has extended its Guarantee to include nonresidents, including international students. The guaranteed rate for these students will be based on the nonresident tuition rate.
At the end of the four years, the student's tuition rate will no longer be guaranteed. The new rate may be the same as the tuition assessed to those undergraduate students who are not eligible for a tuition Guarantee, unless the SIU Board of Trustees decides otherwise.¹
Students who do not qualify for fixed tuition include 1) graduate students, 2) professional students, 3) undergraduate students who first enrolled prior to Fall 2004, 4) undergraduate students whose Guarantee has expired, 5) students enrolled in cost-recovery courses, and 6) high school students who are enrolled in college courses at SIUC (until such time as they enroll as undergraduates).
Extensions of the Guarantee period will only be considered if the extension is being sought based on extenuating circumstances such as being called to active military duty as a result of a national emergency. The office of the Director of the Registrar's Office must receive from the student a written request for review within 30 days of the first official start date of the semester/session for which the student is enrolled following the expiration of the Guarantee. The written request should include the reasons that justify an extension and evidence supporting the request.
1. How does withdrawal affect my Guarantee?
Students who withdraw will not be granted an extension of their Guarantee. If they are later re-enrolled, they will rejoin their original Tuition Stabilization Plan cohort.
2. What if I change majors?
Students changing majors or colleges will maintain their cohort status and will be assessed tuition based on their new major.² Their cohort and the Guarantee expiration date will not change.³
3. Does the Guarantee cover fees and room/board?
No. The four-year Guarantee will apply only to tuition that is approved by the SIU Board of Trustees.
4. What if I'm a graduate student enrolled in undergraduate courses?
Students classified (admitted) as graduate students are not eligible for the Guarantee regardless of the level of the course(s) in which they choose to enroll.
5. What if I'm transferring from another college?
All undergraduate students transferring to SIUC will be eligible for a four-year Guarantee, unless excluded as indicated herein.
6. What happens if I change my status from non-resident to resident?
You will still maintain your cohort status and your Guarantee expiration date will not change. Your tuition rate will be reduced to the resident rate of your cohort, effective the term for which your Illinois residency status is approved.
7. Does this Guarantee apply to part-time students?
Rules for the determination of cohort status are not affected by full or part-time status. Part-time students will be assigned to a cohort based upon the first term of initial enrollment at SIUC.
8. What if I become a graduate student or professional student before I have completely used up my four-year Guarantee?
Your four-year Guarantee does not cover being classified as a graduate or professional student. You will be assessed graduate or professional tuition under the then-prevailing tuition structure.
– Cohort: A group of undergraduates who first enroll at SIUC during the same term.
– Concurrently enrolled high school students: High school students simultaneously enrolled at SIUC.
– Newly enrolled students: Those undergraduate students who first enroll at SIUC Fall 2004 or after, excluding concurrently enrolled high school students.
– Re-entry students: Undergraduate students who withdraw and re-enroll. These students will remain in the cohort they were in when they withdrew. Their Guarantee expiration date will not be extended as a result of the withdrawal.
¹ Effective Fall 2010, based on the Illinois state legislature passing SB 3222 (Public Act 096-1293), the SIU Board of Trustees approved a modification of the Guarantee. That is, newly-enrolling undergraduate students will be assigned to a tuition cohort based on the term that they first enroll at SIUC, and their undergraduate tuition rate will be guaranteed for four years from that first term. Then, after the end of the four-year Guarantee, students in a given cohort who are still undergraduates will get an additional two-year Guarantee at the rate paid by those undergraduates in the cohort that started one year after theirs. However, if the student changes majors or has a residency reclassification during their undergraduate time, their tuition rate can be adjusted as noted in the Questions and Answers section above. Any undergraduate tuition rate after the end of six total years will then be at the discretion of the SIU Board of Trustees. (Since the information contained in this document was created prior to this modification, incoming students should interpret information above about a four-year Guarantee timeframe to mean a four-year Guarantee plus a two-year Guarantee as noted in this footnote.)
² Currently, nearly all undergraduate majors charge the same baseline resident tuition rates to students in a given cohort, with the exception of the College of Business (as explained here). Thus, students who change majors into or out of the College of Business could be subject to a change in their tuition rate.
³ Another thing that will not change is whether or not the student's tuition charge will be capped at a certain number of hours per semester. Effective Fall 2016, incoming undergraduate students will no longer have their tuition charges – and, if applicable, their College of Business differential tuition surcharge – capped at 15 credit hours per semester if they register for more than 15 hours in a semester. However, students who started at SIUC before Fall 2016 will continue to have their tuition charges subject to the 15 hour cap.