The Board of Trustees voted Thursday, Dec. 7, to lower fees and not to increase tuition for the 2018-19 academic year.
“We realize that earning a degree from an institution like NIU can be life-changing for a student, and we are committed to keeping NIU affordable,” said Board Chair Wheeler Coleman.
The board voted to once again lock in NIU tuition at the same level the university has charged since the 2015-16 academic year. Students will pay $348.84 per credit hour for the first 11 hours of courses. Those who take 12 or more hours will have their tuition capped at $5,332.80 per semester, creating an incentive to take heavier course loads and graduate more quickly. The rate will apply to students who enroll in the 2018-19 academic year, and will remain constant for nine consecutive semesters, per state and university policy.
Students majoring in the high-demand areas of engineering and computer science will pay a differential rate that is $40 per credit hour higher. The higher rate offsets the costs of ensuring that labs and other resources are up to current industry standards.
The board also approved a decrease in undergraduate student fees of 0.5 percent (excluding the health insurance fee, which students can waive with proof of their own insurance). The largest reduction was a 90-cent per-credit-hour cut in the Health and Wellness Charge, made possible due to efficiencies realized through the university’s Program Prioritization efforts. The board also approved a 30-cent per-credit-hour reduction in the Athletic Program fee.
Room and board rates for double occupancy rooms will remain unchanged.
Students choosing to live in single-occupancy rooms will see an increase of about 4.5 percent, reflecting the fact that those rooms are in greater demand. Housing rates approved Thursday do not pertain to the New Hall and Northern View Apartment complexes on campus. Those facilities are operated as a public-private partnership and rates are set by an outside agency.
The net outcome of the new rates is that, for a new student living on-campus in a double-occupancy room and taking 12 or more hours of classes, the cost of attending and living at NIU will actually drop by 0.1 percent.
“These actions significantly demonstrate NIU’s commitment to keeping higher education accessible and affordable,” said Sol Jensen, vice president for the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communication. “That affordability, combined with our excellent programs, should make NIU an even more attractive choice for students looking for a degree that will help them succeed in life.”