Tuition charge OK’d for NIU’s spring term

By Claudia Curry

The $125 tuition surcharge, approved by the Board of Regents Sept. 15, will be implemented for the spring 1989 semester at all Regency universities, including NIU.

The $125 surcharge was favored over a proposed $125 tuition increase by several Regents in hopes that their action would send a message to state legislators that the General Assembly needs to increase funding for higher education.

Until the Board of Regents decides to remove the surcharge, the increase will continue for all Regency university students for every semester following its implementation.

NIU, Illinois State University at Normal and Sangamon State University at Springfield are Regency schools.

The surcharge will increase NIU tuition to $857 in the spring from the $732 that students paid this fall.

NIU Student Regent Nick Valadez said, “I’m not happy with any additional cost to students, but given the options, the surcharge is a compromise.”

Regent Milton McClure said, “This is a compromise between two extremes. It’s not one any of us are comfortable with.” However, he said he could not support a surcharge increase.

State Representative John Countryman, R-DeKalb, said the message that the Regents sent by the surcharge was “dead wrong.” He said Regents are sending the message that they are unwilling to look for areas where they can cut costs.

Last year, NIU experienced a similar mid-year increase in tuition with a $150 mid-year tuition hike.

The difference between the 1988 tuition increase and the 1989 surcharge increase is that there will be a notification on students’ tuition bills that a surcharge has been implemented. Under the regular tuition increase, the $150 amount was added to the tuition without stating that an increase had occurred.

Student Association President Paula Radtke said that when students see a surcharge has been imposed, it might make a lot of people question what happened. She said she hopes the surcharge motivates students to fight for increased funding for higher education.

The estimated $2 million NIU was expected to receive in additional funding from the surcharge must be reduced by a total of $550,000 to offset the school’s cost of previous commitments.

Payment of the $125 surcharge tuition increase will be waived for those students who receive financial aid through the Illinois State Scholarship Commission Monetary Award Program.

NIU President John LaTourette said the $2 million which would be raised through the surcharge needs to be reduced by about $300,000 to offset the cost for students receiving scholarships through the MAP.

Another $280,000 to $300,000 needs to be subtracted from the $2 million estimated total to counter the cost of opening 39 extra 1988 fall course sections across the undergraduate curriculum, he said.

NIU Provost Kendall Baker said most of the funding for the extra fall course sections went to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to provide general education, lower division classes.