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ISU Tuition Freeze, Room/Board Increase Proposed

Students sitting on grass on ISU Quad
Illinois State University
The total cost of attending Illinois State University could go up 1.2% if trustees approve the plan on Friday.

The overall cost to attend Illinois State University would go up 1.2% next school year if trustees approve the proposal on Friday. That's a hike of $296.

Staff suggests no tuition increase and a 3% hike in room and board rates. Total cost, including fees for the school year beginning in the fall, would be $25,465 for a full-time undergraduate student. The last time tuition increased at ISU was the 2017-18 academic year.

The board of trustees also will consider spending $33 million on a variety of capital projects, including $18 million to build a new nursing simulation lab on West Locust Street.

Staff expects nursing enrollment could grow by 400 students as a result. The new 20,000-square-foot lab would be at 402 and 404 W. Locust St. where there are currently dormant university buildings. ISU estimated the project will take three years and would use general revenue, fees, and reserve money, and potential borrowing.

The remaining $15 million in capital projects includes renovation of the first floor of Milner Library, the first and third floors of Cook Hall, the Weaver's building, improvements to Julian Hall, and would expedite construction of the state-funded fine arts complex project.

Money for the projects would come from general revenue, fees, reserves, or potential bond issues.

Trustees also will consider three- and five-year agreements with Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle for software and support. Those total up to $9.6 million. A briefing packet for trustees indicates about half of ISU students use at least one Apple device.

ISU also has plans to resurface its outdoor track for $650,000. The last resurfacing was 19 years ago, and the athletic department says it's about a decade past its life expectancy.

Finally, ISU lays out a lot of bread for, well, bread.

A proposed five-year contract with the Alpha Baking Company allocates $200,000 a year for bread. Campus dining centers serve more than 500,000 hamburger buns and more than 15,000 loaves of bread each school year.

Trustees will also be asked to approve the next step in the formation of an engineering program, applying for Illinois Board of Higher Education approval for the program.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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