DECATUR — Junior Ashlee Colby feels better about her decision to splurge on an apartment for her last year at Millikin University.
That’s because Millikin officials announced Thursday that for the second consecutive year, there will be no increase in tuition for the 2013-14 year, nor will housing costs go up for students living on campus.
“I wanted an off-campus experience for my senior year, and that’s going to cost more,” said Colby, a Batavia native who is majoring in marketing and graphic design. “I’m relieved tuition will stay the same.”
Interim President Rich Dunsworth said that while Millikin’s decision to hold the line on costs for a second straight year is not unprecedented, according to a study the university did two years ago of more than 100 private institutions and their pricing strategies, it is far from customary.
Millikin’s decision means rates will remain what they were in 2011-12: $27,852 for the full-time undergraduate program, $417 per credit hour for the PACE evening undergraduate program and an average of $5,000 annually for dormitory housing.
Dunsworth said the decision was made without the benefit of any projected growth in enrollment, as there was a year ago.
“James Millikin didn’t want this institution to be for the elite or the affluent when he founded it more than a century ago,” Dunsworth said. “It’s part of our institutional culture to be economically accessible to families who want a private education.
“While we can’t make any promises for the enduring future,” he said further, “Millikin intends to continue holding tuition prices as long as possible.”
Dunsworth added that the financial aid 98 percent of its students receive will remain. “Not only will that not be cut, in some areas, we’ve been able to increase the aid we’ve been able to give out,” he said.
Millikin University has 2,264 undergraduate students, 253 of whom are in the PACE program, said Laura Birch, coordinator of institutional research. The two graduate programs have 83 students.
Birch said undergraduate enrollment typically hovers around 2,300 students, with 2,258 last year, 2,295 in 2010-11 and 2,279 in 2009-10.
Dunsworth said grants to help cover utility costs are among measures that have made level tuition and housing costs possible, and “no cuts will be made within the classroom.”
“We are just as committed to delivering a quality education as we are to being accessible.”
Elsewhere, the University of Illinois is raising its tuition for the next school year by 1.7 percent for all three of its campuses and housing costs by 2 percent for Chicago, 3 percent for Urbana-Champaign and 4.9 percent for Springfield.
Student Senate President Jacqui Rogers, a junior from Granite City, said she’s sure she speaks for the entire student body in reacting positively to Millikin’s announcement.
“Three years in a row with the same rates means we haven’t had to scrape together the extra money while facing uncertainty over (state) grants,” Rogers said.