The cost of higher education isn't one size fits all. Instructional requirements are more costly for some disciplines than for others. Course work in engineering and business, for example, comes with a much higher overhead than does a general studies curriculum.
Many of these programs are in high demand, and not just because at the University of Illinois they are ranked among the best in the nation. Graduates in the sciences, engineering, business and other high-demand curricula also tend to be in greater demand by employers and have significantly more career earning power.
A truly world-class education is driven by quality and demand.
In recent years, tuition schedules have evolved to reflect those market realities. Rates that were once applied across the board are now tempered by a principle of fairness. Students in high-demand, high-cost programs and with prospects for higher salaries should not be subsidized by other students.
For public universities, tuition differentials have also been driven, in part, by declining state financial support. At the three-campus University of Illinois, state support covered half of instructional costs three decades ago, but now accounts for just 15%.
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Consequently, tuition has risen to help bridge the gap, shifting costs to students and their families. Tuition differentials are an offshoot of that shift, ensuring that costs are in line with the education students receive.
As college sticker price and student debt increase, so do concerns about accessibility, and the university is working to make sure no deserving student is denied the life-changing opportunity of a University of Illinois education simply due to cost. Need-based financial assistance has increased nearly fourfold during the past decade to more than $60 million annually.
Economic forces have changed the funding model for higher education, but the University of Illinois is committed to striking a balance that ensures fairness, access and best-in-class graduates who will lead new generations of progress.
Christophe Pierre is vice president for academic affairs at the University of Illinois, which enrolls more than 77,000 students on three campuses.
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Coalition Responds to Governor Perry's Veto of Senate Bill 15Governor Rick Perry today vetoed Senate Bill No. 15, a bill passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature and intended to strengthen the governing boards of Texas institutions of public higher education. In response to the veto, the Coalition issued the following statement:“The Governor’s veto is yet another blow for transparency and good governance that will undermine, not improve, Texas public universities. This legislation was strongly supported by Republicans and Democrats in both the Texas House and Senate and was intended to stop an unfortunate legacy of micromanagement and cronyism that has characterized too many of Governor Perry’s appointments. This veto will enable the continued destruction of some of our leading institutions by the very people who are charged with strengthening and improving them. Without proper oversight these premiere research and teaching universities run the risk of becoming talentless degree mills that will drive jobs and economic opportunity away from Texas, instead of attracting them. The people of Texas deserve better, our students deserve better, our universities deserve better and all citizens should be disappointed that the Governor defied the will of the people as expressed by their elected representatives.”
Coalition applauds Senate Nominations Committee; congratulates new RegentsToday the Texas Senate confirmed three regents to The University of Texas System Board of Regents. These three join regents from across the state at university systems ranging from Texas A&M, to The University of Houston, among others, who were confirmed in the 83rd Legislative Session. The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education issued the following statement in response:"We applaud Chairman Hegar and the Members of the Senate Committee on Nominations for a thoughtful and productive process of vetting candidates for the governing boards of our state's public institutions this Legislative Session. The unusually high interest and involvement in this week's nomination hearing from Senators across the state demonstrated the tremendous responsibility that the role of university regent carries, and we commend the Senate for its active engagement in this important process."We congratulate the new regents who went through the process this Session and commend them for their commitment to public service, and promoting and preserving quality and excellence at our state's institutions. Their role in shaping and supporting a higher education system that values research, helps cultivate critical thinking skills and promotes broad-based, diverse learning is essential to developing citizens who will contribute to our state's economy, and our future."Our Coalition was formed to promote excellence in higher education and push back against misguided reforms that could damage the quality of our institutions. We trust the new regents who have responsibility for governing these vital state institutions will be dedicated to strengthening and advancing the quality of higher education for all Texans. It is our hope that the path forward will be marked by good governance at all of our state's institutions and the excellence that it will foster throughout higher education."