WBEZ | Northern Illinois University http://www.wbez.org/tags/northern-illinois-university Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois Truth in Tuition law helps families but hurts schools, experts say http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-truth-tuition-law-helps-families-hurts-schools-experts-say-108167 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Truth%20Tuition_130723_AY.jpg" style="height: 304px; width: 600px; float: left;" title="Spending on college overall has fallen since the recession. That, along with the Illinois requirement to fix tuition for four years, makes budgeting difficult for state universities. (Sallie Mae)" />As the Illinois Truth-in-Tuition law reaches its 10th year, experts say it helps families plan for college, but it makes it harder for public colleges to be strategic.</p><p>The law allows Illinois undergraduate students at public universities to attend school for four years without tuition increases. An amendment passed in 2010 extended it to six years, though allowing the school to increase tuition rates for fifth or sixth year students, as long as the price matches that of the students that came immediately after then.</p><p>Although the law provides some stability to students, it has hurt universities, says Allan Karnes, accounting professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.</p><p>For example, when a university needs to increase tuition due to rising costs, inflation or decreasing state support, the incoming class has to shoulder the entire increase because their counterparts cannot pay higher fees.</p><p>&lsquo;It appears we&rsquo;re raising tuition much more than we actually are, and so that cast us in a bad light,&rdquo; Karnes says.</p><p>Moreover, the binding law requires public universities to guess what their budget will be for the next couple of years, says Thomas Hardy, executive director for media relations at the University of Illinois.</p><p>&ldquo;It requires that the university take a bit of foresight in terms of where cost may go, and then reading a bit of a crystal ball, set tuition that will be fixed for a four year period,&rdquo; Hardy says. &ldquo;It locks us in for a four-year period.&rdquo;</p><p>He adds that this comes at a time of decreasing state support. Since 2002, the University of Illinois has lost about $1 billion in spending authority, leading to tuition hikes and cuts. For example, the university shut down its Institute of Aviation in July 2011.</p><p>Having to predict future costs is also difficult, says Kinga Mauger, the bursar at Northern Illinois University. For example, the school did not expect the recession. Although the school faces rising costs, Mauger says it doesn&rsquo;t want to simply ask incoming students to shoulder the burden. As a result, budgeting is far more difficult.</p><p>A new survey of 800 undergraduates and parents nationwide from student loan company Sallie Mae found that since 2010 and the recession, parents have paid less for college, relying more on loans, grants and scholarships. Overall, high and low-income families have paid less for college since 2010, but middle-income families have paid more.</p><p>Beyond Illinois, a federal Truth in Tuition proposal has been sent to a House committee.</p><p>It requires schools to give students a multi-year fee schedule upon admission, but allows for changes.</p><p>Karnes of the Illinois State Board of Education says lawmakers are not in the best position to draft tuition policies.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s not a general understanding at that level (of) what the budgetary pressures are,&rdquo; Karnes says. &ldquo;Every school is different. We determine what tuition should be by what our costs are. We&rsquo;re not trying to make money. We&rsquo;re just trying to break even.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him @Alan_Yu039.</em></p></p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 13:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-truth-tuition-law-helps-families-hurts-schools-experts-say-108167 NIU football going to Miami for bowl game http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/niu-football-going-miami-bowl-game-104572 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6869_AP429074414990-scr.jpg" style="height: 402px; width: 620px;" title="NIU Coach Rod Carey (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)" /></div></div><p>Northern Illinois University (NIU) will make history next week when its football team plays the Orange Bowl in Florida.</p><p>The&nbsp;Huskies are no strangers to bowl games - this will be their seventh in 10 years.&nbsp;But they will be the first team from the Mid-American Conference to compete in a Bowl Championship Series game.</p><p>Some 1,300 of their fellow students plan to head south to cheer them on.</p><p>Paul Palian is head of Media and Public Relations at Northern Illinois. He says NIU worked around the clock to arrange accommodations and transportation for the students, including finding 26 buses on short notice. But&nbsp;Palian says their efforts were worth it.</p><p>&quot;The students are excited, the campus has various landmarks lit up in orange &ndash;&nbsp;just a great atmosphere in DeKalb right now,&quot; Palian said.</p><p>Meanwhile, Donna Turner of NIU&rsquo;s Athletics Department <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/26/3157431/niu-arrives-in-miami-for-orange.html">is with the team in Miami. </a></p><p>She says over the next few days, players will attend charitable events and team dinners. As they approach game time, the big challenge will be the &quot;mental preparation&quot; required to face the Florida State Seminoles.</p><p>The Huskies are the underdogs of this match-up, so Turner hopes the traveling&nbsp;NIU students bring their high spirits all the way to the Sunshine State.</p><p>&quot;You know obviously we&rsquo;re playing against Florida State,&quot; Turner said. &quot;So our fans will be pretty severely outnumbered we feel.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.orangebowl.org/">Orange Bowl</a> takes place next Tuesday.&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/niu-football-going-miami-bowl-game-104572 Illinois frat members charged in student hazing death http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-frat-members-charged-student-hazing-death-104438 <p><p>DEKALB, Ill. &mdash; Nearly two dozen fraternity members at Northern Illinois University have been charged with hazing-related counts after a freshman was found dead at their fraternity house following a night of drinking.</p><p>DeKalb police and prosecutors issued arrest warrants Monday for 22 members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in DeKalb. Five members are charged with felony hazing, while the other 17 members are facing misdemeanor hazing charges.</p><p>The warrants were filed after David Bogenberger, 19, was found unresponsive at the fraternity house early on Nov. 2. The DeKalb County Coroner&#39;s Office said toxicology results found his blood alcohol content was about five times the legal limit for driving.</p><p>The coroner ruled Bogenberger&#39;s cause of death was cardiac arrhythmia, with alcohol intoxication as a contributing cause.</p><p>The DeKalb Police Department said its investigation found the fraternity hosted an unsanctioned event on Nov. 1 that wasn&#39;t registered with the university or the fraternity&#39;s national chapter.</p><p>&quot;The event that night involved the pledges rotating between several rooms in the fraternity house, being asked a series of questions, and then being provided cups of vodka and other liquor to drink,&quot; police said in a statement. &quot;This resulted in the pledges drinking a large quantity of alcohol in about a two-hour time period.&quot;</p><p>Police said several other pledges reported getting sick and passing out due to excessive alcohol consumption.</p><p>The international fraternity suspended the local Eta Nu chapter and said it would cooperate with the pursuit of anyone who broke the law.</p><p>In a statement from its Memphis, Tenn., headquarters, the fraternity sought to distance itself from alcohol use and hazing that might have happened at its local chapter. It said it has &quot;strict standards with respect to alcohol and hazing.&quot;</p><p>&quot;It is these local activities which stray from the fraternity&#39;s mission and values,&quot; Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity Vice President Justin Buck said.</p><p>In addition to the charges, NIU said 31 students are accused of violating the school&#39;s code of conduct. Those students could face penalties ranging from reprimand to expulsion.</p><p>Bogenberger&#39;s family said in a statement that they appreciate law enforcement professionals who investigated his death and &quot;seek accountability for a horrible event.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We have no desire for revenge,&quot; the family said. &quot;Rather, we hope that some significant change will come from David&#39;s death. Alcohol poisoning claims far too many young, healthy lives.</p><p>&quot;We must realize that young people can and do die in hazing rituals. Alcohol-involved hazing and initiation must end.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 18 Dec 2012 08:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-frat-members-charged-student-hazing-death-104438 Sex-assault case dropped against ex-NIU officer http://www.wbez.org/news/sex-assault-case-dropped-against-ex-niu-officer-104068 <p><p>SYCAMORE, Ill. &mdash; Charges have been dropped against a former Northern Illinois University police officer accused of sexually assaulting a student in October 2011.</p><p>The case had been plagued by questions over whether the NIU police department intentionally withheld information that might have aided the former officer&#39;s defense.</p><p>Prosecutors decided to drop the charges after hearing testimony Tuesday that raised further questions over the police department&#39;s handling of the case.</p><p>The <a href="http://bit.ly/X01BGm" target="_blank">(DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reports</a> that a computer forensics expert testified that the police department&#39;s chief had him remove files from his laptop.</p><p>A lawyer for former officer Andrew Rifkin praised the decision to drop the case and insisted his client was innocent.</p><p>A student accused him of sexually assaulting her at his apartment.</p></p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/sex-assault-case-dropped-against-ex-niu-officer-104068 After Obama immigration offer, college roommates weigh risks http://www.wbez.org/news/after-obama-immigration-offer-college-roommates-weigh-risks-103257 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75048041" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/DSC_0295cropped.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 228px; width: 350px; " title="Northern Illinois University sophomores “Marissa Castillo,” left, and Elaine Rodríguez share an apartment in DeKalb, Illinois. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />President Barack Obama has an offer for many undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Since Aug. 15, the Department of Homeland Security has been letting them apply for work papers and a deportation reprieve under a policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. But the department says it had received fewer than 180,000 complete applications as of Oct. 10. That represents a small fraction of the 950,000 immigrants that, according to a Pew Hispanic Center estimate, could qualify immediately for the deferred action.</p><p>That got me wondering: What would keep people from applying? I&rsquo;m hearing about immigrants having trouble gathering documents to prove their eligibility. I&rsquo;m hearing about struggles to find affordable legal advice and scrape up the $465 application fee. But there&rsquo;s another factor: fear. Many immigrants are wondering how long the policy will remain in place and whether the application information will be used for immigration enforcement. Some are also wondering whether they can count on the Obama administration, which has deported people in record numbers.</p><p>I found a pair of young roommates bound up in these questions. Both women have immigrant parents. Both grew up in Chicago. And both are college sophomores. But just one has papers to be in the United States. That woman, a U.S. citizen, wants to convince her undocumented roommate to take up Obama&rsquo;s offer and send in the application. Their story revolves around trust, immigration status and who will have a future in the United States.</p></p> Fri, 19 Oct 2012 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-obama-immigration-offer-college-roommates-weigh-risks-103257 Illinois universities worried about lack of state funding http://www.wbez.org/story/glenn-poshard/illinois-universities-worried-about-lack-state-funding <p><p>Some public universities say they're stretched too thin because of Illinois' ongoing budget crisis. Southern Illinois University has struggled to negotiate contracts with two employees' unions. SIU President Glenn Poshard blames the state for not paying money it owes to universities.</p><p>&quot;The state's been in a terrible condition. We've been in a terrible condition,&quot;&nbsp;Poshard said. &quot;We're trying to pay our bills. We're trying to maintain our programs. You know, and we need help and we're asking everybody to help a little bit. Some folks have chosen not to.&quot;</p><p>Meanwhile, a Northern Illinois University spokesman says faculty there have become disgruntled over state funding and are preparing to quit.</p><p>Illinois lawmakers have been asking university presidents to come up with a list of programs that are expendable.</p></p> Fri, 11 Mar 2011 13:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/glenn-poshard/illinois-universities-worried-about-lack-state-funding