Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University



Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Tuition & Fees

Southern Illinois University Carbondale   Tuition and Fees

Guaranteed Tuition Stabilization Plan – Effective Fall 2004 for Undergraduate Students

Truth in Tuition Concept

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,1 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.

Administration of the Plan

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 enrollment1 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 enrollment1 at SIUC include 1) resident or non-resident undergraduate students who first enroll at SIUC during the Fall 2004 term or later, and 2) undergraduate re-entry resident or non-resident 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 non-residents, including international students.  The guaranteed rate for these students will be based on the non-resident 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.2

Students who do not qualify for fixed tuition – and who are not covered under the guarantees of this Plan – include the following:

  1. Undergraduate students who first enrolled in post-secondary education at SIUC prior to Fall 2004;
  2. Graduate students;
  3. Professional students (in the School of Law and the School of Medicine);
  4. Undergraduate students whose Guarantee (as described herein) has expired;
  5. High school students who are enrolled in college courses at SIUC (until such time as they enroll as undergraduates);
  6. Students enrolled in cost-recovery courses (who have not yet enrolled in any non-cost-recovery courses at SIUC).

Appeals Process

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.

Questions and Answers

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.3  Their cohort and the Guarantee expiration date will not change.4

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.  Mandatory student fees, program fees, course-specific fees, and room/board are still subject to possible annual increases.

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.

Definition of Terms for this Plan

Cohort:  A group of undergraduates who first enroll at SIUC during the same term after this Plan takes effect.

Concurrently enrolled high school students:  High school students simultaneously enrolled at SIUC.

Newly enrolled students:  Those undergraduate students who first enroll at SIUC during the Fall 2004 semester or thereafter, excluding concurrently enrolled high school students.

Re-entry students:  Undergraduate students covered by this Plan 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 The use of various forms of the word "enroll" implies registering for classes and attending all or part of the term, including withdrawing after the start of the term.  Students who are merely admitted to a university program of study, but do not show up and/or take part in classes for the term, are not considered to be enrolled.

2 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.)

3 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.

4 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.