WBEZ | college tuition http://www.wbez.org/tags/college-tuition Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois Budget Impasse Halts Student Scholarships http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-21/illinois-budget-impasse-halts-student-scholarships-114551 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0121_university-illinois-ap-624x401.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>More than 200 days have passed since the State of Illinois has operated on a budget. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic state legislative leaders continue to disagree on a solution, and while the fight goes on, state-funded schools are among the many services getting squeezed.</p><p>On Wednesday, Republican state lawmakers announced a proposal to allow Chicago Public Schools to declare bankruptcy, which would put the schools under state control.</p><p>Illinois universities &ndash; and their students &ndash; are also facing challenges. About&nbsp;128,000 students receiving education grants through the Monetary Award Program, or MAP, are no longer getting that money from the state, making it impossible for some to pay for their classes.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em>Jeremy Hobson speaks with<a href="https://twitter.com/SIUPresident" target="_blank">&nbsp;Randy Dunn</a>, president of the Southern Illinois University [SIU] system, and&nbsp;Alejandra Le, a junior at Chicago State University and MAP recipient, about the effects of the impasse.</p><hr /><p><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">Interview Highlights</span></strong></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:16px;">Randy Dunn</span></strong></p><p><strong>How many students have decided not to re-enroll because of the grant money?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;At this point we&rsquo;re still in the process of determining that exact number. If you look at the SIU system as a whole, we have about 7,700 students who are MAP eligible. Now of course, in any given semester, not all of those students will decide to come to school. Some will have other plans or make other arrangements, so we&rsquo;re looking right now at what the impact of this is. We anticipate that, at the two undergraduate campuses for Southern Illinois University, we could be looking at hundreds of students. Until we make the individual contacts, finding out why those students are not coming back for next semester, it&rsquo;s difficult to say. But certainly it&rsquo;s not beyond the pale to think that we may be looking at anywhere from 200 to 400 undergraduates not returning to one of the two SIU campuses.</p><p>What I&rsquo;ve said is that, if you extrapolate that to the state as a whole, we could potentially be looking at thousands of students who will lose that accessibility to higher education this semester. Understand, Jeremy, that MAP dollars go not just to university students, but this is a contract or covenant between the state and all students. This applies to students at community colleges or private institutions, but all of the colleges and universities are in the process of making contacts via their advisers and recruiters to find out why these students are not back for spring.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Is this mostly low-income students that you&rsquo;re talking about?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Yes it is. There are income guidelines for accessibility to MAP, so we try to find out why those students aren&rsquo;t back. It won&rsquo;t be because of MAP for all of them, but we anticipate a significant number of students state-wide because, not knowing how this all will play out, decide to take a semester off or longer.</p><p>One of the things we have happening is that all of the public universities in the state, so far, are continuing to front the MAP money from our own institutional funds. But we&rsquo;ve had to change that message to the students to say that if the state doesn&rsquo;t come through with that reimbursement, if they do not fund MAP and make it whole, we would have to come back to the students and ask for payments on their accounts. I think that&rsquo;s had a chilling effect on some number of them in looking at what to do for spring semester.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>How long can you continue to do that, to front the money? &nbsp;</strong></p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve committed for spring semester, and as I talk to my colleague presidents around the state, everyone&rsquo;s doing that on a semester-by-semester basis. But understand that it&rsquo;s not that we just haven&rsquo;t seen the MAP money, the state support of public university operations has not been appropriated either. We have seen no support from the state of Illinois, it&rsquo;s part of the funding stream for all of the public universities and it cannot go on forever.</p><p>I think all of us are very hesitant to give a certain date, to say that at some point we are going to cut all of this off because we all want to ensure that all of our students can come back to school. But this is not a situation that can go on indefinitely.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>What would your message be to the state legislature and the governor?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Within the past 20 years, Illinois has been recognized as a state with a system of public higher education that was really among the best in the country. And over these past 20 years, we have seen this dismantling; an incremental approach in which we&rsquo;ve seen a disinvestment in the work of the state universities.</p><p>I do worry that we&rsquo;re just going to continue this to the point that we give up so much of what defines us as strong state universities that we&rsquo;re going to turn around and not be able to put it back again. It&rsquo;s not just educating students, that&rsquo;s the core work obviously, but if you look at what we do around economic development, regional support and services and quality of life, most of us are involved in public broadcasting, there are a range of services that great state universities provide. We are stewards of the places we are in, and we&rsquo;re in a time where I think we are about to lose that here in Illinois if we cannot get a solution to this budget stalemate that we have in front of us.&rdquo;</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:16px;">Alejandra Le</span></strong></p><p><strong>How has the loss of this grant affected you?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s affected me greatly, actually. For the first time in three years, I have a balance. And I typically don&rsquo;t work during the week, and now I have to commute back from school to my job, which is a 45 minute to an hour drive, so sometimes I don&rsquo;t get lunch. It&rsquo;s very difficult because I am working to pay off this balance and I don&rsquo;t want to ask my mother for money. I am a first-generation student and my mother does not have the money to put me through college. I&rsquo;ve relied on the MAP grants and now that the grant isn&rsquo;t here, it&rsquo;s hitting me and I honestly don&rsquo;t know what I&rsquo;m going to do for next semester.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>How much money is that balance?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Probably $1,000. Typically it costs around $5,000 per semester. The MAP grants usually cover that. Pell Grants usually give you about $2,800 and then MAP grants give you about $1,500 to $1,600, depending on how you fill out your FAFSA and how much your parents make. The reason I have that balance is because I don&rsquo;t have those MAP grants and I have to find a way to pay that off.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>What is your backup plan if you are unable to continue at Chicago State?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Right now I honestly don&rsquo;t have a backup plan. The only real backup plan I have is to work. I recently got a new job. It&rsquo;s paying me fairly well, so honestly the only thing I&rsquo;m thinking about is that if the doors are not opened for me and all higher education students, I will probably just continue to work until I can find an institution that is affordable.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>What were you hoping to do with your degree?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;With my psychology degree I wanted to continue on and get my Masters in clinical mental health and then I wanted to get my Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy. That&rsquo;s not looking so bright for me right now.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Who do you blame for this situation?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Honestly it&rsquo;s not our lawmakers. I don&rsquo;t blame anyone. It&rsquo;s just something that&rsquo;s out of our control.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>You feel it&rsquo;s out of your control, there&rsquo;s nothing you can do about it?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;I personally feel that if we launch a missile and all public organizations and institutions get together and make it clear that we need a state budget, I feel that we can do something about it. However we need to join together and Illinois doesn&rsquo;t fully grasp this, but we need to join together and launch this missile so that it can land on the desk of Bruce Rauner.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Between Bruce Rauner and the Democratic legislature, you don&rsquo;t blame one more than the other?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t blame one over the other. Typically because it is not a one-man team.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/01/21/illinois-budget-education-grants" target="_blank"><em>&mdash;via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 13:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-21/illinois-budget-impasse-halts-student-scholarships-114551 University of Illinois Considers Tuition Freeze for In-State Students http://www.wbez.org/news/university-illinois-considers-tuition-freeze-state-students-114533 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/7027599019_ffc018d450_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) &mdash; University of&nbsp;Illinois&nbsp;President Timothy Killeen is recommending that trustees freeze tuition for a second-straight year for instate freshmen.</p><div><p>Killeen said in a statement Wednesday that the university needs to ensure students from&nbsp;Illinois&nbsp;can still afford to go to school at one of its three campuses. He had said earlier that he would like to avoid raising tuition but was not sure that was possible given that the state&#39;s budget stalemate.</p><p>Trustees are scheduled to vote on tuition and housing rates for next school year at their meeting Thursday in Chicago.</p><p>Tuition for in-state students would remain at $12,036 a year at the Urbana-Champaign campus, $10,584 in Chicago and $9,405 in Springfield.</p><p>Under&nbsp;Illinois&nbsp;law, freshman starting at state schools pay the same tuition for four years.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 13:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/university-illinois-considers-tuition-freeze-state-students-114533 The Life And Death Of The Summer Job http://www.wbez.org/news/life-and-death-summer-job-112604 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/empty-wallet-final-web_slide-e6cbc124ad2fed52d0bfc86a10e8bd8ca4b15ed5-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Summertime means summer jobs for many college students. But a summer job just doesn&#39;t have the purchasing power it used to, especially when you compare it with the cost of college.</p><p>Let&#39;s take the example of a working-class student at a four-year public university who&#39;s getting no help from Mom and Dad. In 1981-82, the average&nbsp;<a href="https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-and-fee-and-room-and-board-charges-over-time-1973-74-through-2013-14-selected-years">full cost to attend</a>&nbsp;was $2,870. That&#39;s for tuition, fees and room and board.</p><p>The maximum Pell Grant award back then for free tuition help from the government was $1,800. That leaves our hypothetical student on the hook for just about $1,000. Add in a little pocket money, too &mdash; say $35 a week. That makes an extra $1,820 for the year on top of the $1,000 tuition shortfall.</p><p>Now, $3.35 an hour was the minimum wage back then. So, to make $2,820 meant working 842 hours. That&#39;s 16 hours a week year-round &mdash; a decent part-time job. It&#39;s also about nine hours a day for three straight months &mdash; a full-time, seven-day-a-week summer job. Or, more likely, a combination of both. In short: not impossible. Far from it.</p><p>For today&#39;s public university student, the numbers have all changed in the wrong direction.</p><p>Here&#39;s what we calculated based on last year&#39;s numbers.</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;The minimum wage has also gone up more slowly than the cost of college. It&#39;s $7.25 an hour. At that rate, a student would have to work 1,771 hours to get by. That&#39;s 34 hours a week, every week of the year. To cover today&#39;s costs with just a summer job, a student would have to lose a little sleep, working almost 20 hours a day for three straight months. And that would still leave no money for books, travel home, pizza or a trip to the movies.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>This year, based on the new full cost of attendance, things are even worse.</p><p>In 2014-2015, the school year just ended, the total of tuition, fees and room and board for in-state students at four-year public universities&nbsp;<a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-room-board-time">was $18,943</a>. The maximum Pell Grant didn&#39;t keep pace with that:&nbsp;<a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/student-aid/figures-tables/federal-pell-grant-awards-current-and-constant-dollars-over-time">It was $5,730</a>. That left our hypothetical student on the hook for $13,313.</p><p>A student would now have to work 35 hours a week, every week of the year, to get by. To cover today&#39;s costs with a low-skilled, minimum wage summer job? Over 90 days, a student would need to work 20.24 hours a day.</p><p>Plus side: if you&#39;re working that much, you don&#39;t need to pay rent because you&#39;re hardly sleeping.</p><p>There&#39;s also this: Research shows that when college students work&nbsp;<a href="http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/06/08/work#sthash.p0fjaNPG.dpbs">more than 20 hours a week</a>&nbsp;their studies suffer. If they&#39;re working full time, many will take longer to finish ... and end up paying even more.</p><p>No wonder students are borrowing so much these days.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Sun, 09 Aug 2015 22:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/life-and-death-summer-job-112604 A Mere $392,800 Gets You A Degree!? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2013-02/mere-392800-gets-you-degree-105687 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/college tuition.jpg" style="float: right; height: 263px; width: 300px;" title="(tax credits/flickr)" />Are you shocked by the cost of a university education today? I am, and I work at a university.</div><p>Frankly, I don&rsquo;t understand how parents and students today are able to pay the present room, board, and tuition costs of an education at either a public college ($25,000) or a private college ($55,000). The cost of higher education has increased at a faster rate than inflation for at least the last ten years.</p><p>And, according to college financial aid consultant Kalman Chany, there is no end in sight. Chany predicts that when today&rsquo;s children to go college, the estimated cost of a state school will be $37,000 a year, and at a private school, the cost will be $98,200.</p><p>When you multiply these numbers by a factor of four, you wind up with public tuition topping out at $150,800, and private tuition at $392,800. (And, by the way, these figures do not include books, spending money, and transportation) Now, don&rsquo;t get me wrong, I&rsquo;m still convinced of the importance of a college education, both in regard to developing competence and a career, as well as addressing the related questions of &ldquo;personal identity and character.&rdquo;</p><p>However, I am also convinced that universities need to redefine their financial models and ways of doing business. The golden ages of the &ldquo;baby boomers&rdquo; charging off to college in unprecedented numbers is over. Birth rates have been down for over 15 years, and so has the pool of normal college age students.</p><p>Moreover, the demands and specific needs of the market place have changed. Nowadays, just getting a degree is no longer a guarantee of getting a job.</p><p>&ldquo;Boomer&rdquo; parents were once able to help, if not, completely pay college bills while simultaneously maintaining a middle class existence and planning for retirement. But, today&rsquo;s parents can&rsquo;t do it all anymore. And, clearly, most students cannot pay for their own tuition.</p><p>Those students who do pay their own bills, often do so by taking on loans that often require 10 to 15 years to pay off. Given today&rsquo;s and tomorrow&rsquo;s projected costs, I simply don&rsquo;t think universities can maintain their present pedagogical model and method of doing education.</p><p>I&rsquo;m convinced that within 15 years, the average university undergraduate curriculum will be a two to a three year experience. Yes, there will be &ldquo;some&rdquo; liberal art; but the focus will be on career preparation and technical competencies. This possible near-future scenario deeply troubles me greatly.</p><p>But, after four-decades in the classroom, I, sadly, just can&rsquo;t imagine any other workable alternative.</p></p> Thu, 28 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2013-02/mere-392800-gets-you-degree-105687 University of Illinois raises tuition by 1.7 percent http://www.wbez.org/news/university-illinois-raises-tuition-17-percent-105123 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS3726_University of Illinois_Flickr_Spiffy0777.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>University of Illinois trustees have raised tuition for in-state students starting school this fall by 1.7 percent. It is the smallest increase in almost two decades.</p><p>Under Thursday&#39;s unanimous vote, undergraduate tuition at the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus will increase $198 to $11,834 a year. Chicago campus undergraduates will see an increase of $174 to $10,406. And tuition in Springfield will increase $157.50 to $9,247.50.</p><p>Increases won&#39;t affect current students. State law guarantees students at public universities will pay the same tuition for four years.</p><p>The coming increase is the smallest in terms of percentage since 1994. Recent increases have been as high as 9.5 percent.</p><p>Trustees also raised housing costs to $9,979 a year in Urbana-Champaign, $10,261 in Chicago and $10,350 in Springfield.</p></p> Thu, 24 Jan 2013 11:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/university-illinois-raises-tuition-17-percent-105123