The University of Illinois President says the school had no choice but to raise tuition. New students in the fall will pay 6.9 percent more.
President Michael Hogan says the rate will be locked in for four years, and when averaged out over that time, the students will pay an increase closer to the rate of inflation. Still, Hogan says the tuition hike was necessary.
"Without a tuition increase we would be short another $22 million. It would be very hard to staff our classes and keep class sizes the way they are," he said.
But others voiced concerns about the increasing cost of higher education.
"We have to keep in mind every time we raise tuition, we may be pricing certain potential students out of the ability to attend our university," said U of I Trustee Tim Koritz.
Board Chairman Chris Kennedy says he doesn't want to see the U of I be just for elite families. University leaders point out half of all students don't pay any tuition because of financial aid. The U of I is still owed about $450 million from state government, and officials expect state funding to be reduced again in the next year.