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One Two Financial Punch (in the gut) for Illinois Students

One Two Financial Punch (in the gut) for Illinois Students

ISACYesterday, I wrote an article about how the University of Illinois was increasing their tuition by 9.5% for the upcoming academic year.  While this is sometimes hard to stomach, most families and students are somewhat expecting an increase in fees over the years.  Unfortunately though, thousands of students anticipating to receive financial aid from the state of Illinois just recently found out that the money has run out and many students will go without funding this year.  Certainly not a good time for students in the great state of Illinois.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is estimating that it will have $400 million dollars to award to needy students this coming year, which is a pretty typical dollar amount based upon prior years. However, as you can imagine, the number of eligible needy students has increased and the group just does not have enough money set aside to meet the demand. They have already turned down approximately 27,000 students and they anticipate the number of rejections to increase to 200,000 once all is said and done..

ISAC administrators state that rejections are nothing new and that they have been increasing in number for the past couple of years. In 2008-2009 they rejected almost 60,000 students and in 2009-2010 they turned down 120,000 eligible student applications for funding. The feeling that I am getting is that they don’t necessarily want to turn students away, they just don’t have a choice once the money is no longer available.

Recommendation

It appears that students are awarded on a first come first serve basis and your “number” in line is going to be based upon when you complete your FAFSA for the upcoming academic year. ISAC states that funding ran out this year by April 19th. So, I would recommend students next year to make sure that they complete their FAFSA on-time and ahead of schedule to insure receipt of the limited financial aid available from the state of Illinois. Here is a link to all the grant applications provided by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Enjoy!

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University of Illinois Approves a 9.5 Percent Tuition Increase

University of Illinois Approves a 9.5 Percent Tuition Increase

uofiThe University of Illinois has long since been known as having one of the most complicated tuition structures in the country. Tuition rates for each of their programs varies greatly and even if you know the tuition rate, you also better be sure of which areas of study include surcharges. For example, if you are an art student, you need to budget an additional $1500 in college costs over and above your tuition expenses.

This last Thursday, the trustees for U of I voted in favor of raising tuition by 9.5 percent for the 2010-2011 academic year. At the same meeting, they approved a $170,000 salary increase ($620,000) for the role of University President.

As you can imagine, this decision did not come without opposition. Students and faculty voiced their concern over the tuition rate increase and stated that “it was ridiculous” and that “the school is just not affordable”.

Undergrad tuition rates for the upcoming academic year are slated to be $10,386 at the Urbana-Champaign campus, $9,134 at the Chicago campus and $8,108 at the Springfield campus. If you would like more detailed information about the fees at the University of Illinois, you can check out their fee schedule here.

If you are a student (or parent of a student) and you are looking for ways to help absorb this additional tuition expense, please don’t hesitate to take a look at my article for approaches to paying for college. Hopefully it can provide you with some possible solutions.

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