UNIVERSITY PARK | Students at Governors State University will get to experience something that college students across Illinois dream about — their tuition rates will not increase for the upcoming academic year.
The university’s governing board met Friday, where the decision was made to freeze the tuition rate and the fees charged to its 5,500 students at their current level.
The decision will impact the 2014-15 academic year.
Illinois residents pay a tuition of $255 per credit hour for undergraduate courses, and $279 per credit hour for graduate-level courses.
Indiana residents pay the same rate as Illinois residents for undergraduate courses. But for graduate-level courses, they pay the out-of-state rate of $558 per credit hour.
Students also are charged a fee schedule for such services as career counseling, maintenance of the student center and other activities, and parking and walking maintenance. University spokesman Michael Drakulich said the fees vary depending on what academic program a student chooses to study.
University President Elaine Maimon said the board’s decision was motivated in part by the fact that the University Park-based college is opening an undergraduate freshman class for the first time in its more than four decades of existence.
She said the university has already been experiencing an increase in the size of its overall enrollment, and that having more students around will mean more income that makes a tuition increase for next year unnecessary.
Maimon also said she hopes that keeping a hold on tuition costs for 2014-15 will be received favorably by the parents of students who wind up paying tuition bills for their children, along with those students who are paying their own tuition.
“We’re hoping that by putting this cap on tuition, it will reflect favorably on us and make more people want to consider attending this university,” Maimon said.
In expanding its undergraduate programs to include the first two years rather than merely accepting transfer students from community colleges, GSU hopes to have about 270 incoming freshmen when classes begin in August.
GSU is also constructing a residence hall for students that Maimon says will differ from traditional on-campus housing that separates undergraduate students from others.
“This will be a family atmosphere of people from freshman through graduate level,” she said. “It won’t be all 18-year-olds.”
It also will include development in coming years of an intercollegiate athletic program that will include a men’s basketball program, Drakulich said. Current students are being asked to participate in a Get in the Game contest to come up with a name for a future university mascot.
Students have until March 10 to submit entries for a mascot, with votes on the top four entries to be made next month and a winner will be announced May 1.