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U of I Tuition Goes Big

University of Illinois no longer a Big Ten bargain

By Sandra Torres
|  Monday, Sep 20, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM CDT
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University of Illinois

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The Big Ten school traditionally known as a bargain for in-state students now has one of the biggest bills. The University of Illinois is no longer considered a deal.  

The Champaign-Urbana-based university is now considered to be the second most expensive public school in the Big Ten for in-state students, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. There, freshmen will pay at least $23,372 for tuition, mandated fees and room and board. This comes 20 years after it was praised as one of the nation's Big Ten bargains, according to Money magazine. Back then, in-state tuition cost $2,236.

Their expensive status has a lot to do with the state's budget woes.

"When we had 50 percent of our budget supplied by the state, we were able to subsidize our students quite a bit,"said Robin Kaler, university spokeswoman, to the Chicago Sun-Times. "That ability is gone," she added.

University officials blame the rising tuition costs on state legislators for decreasing state funding to the University. For the current fiscal year, the university received $698 million, compared to $802 million in 2002. The president of the university said he anticipates it will lose another $100 million in funding in each of the next two years.

The cheapest school in the Big Ten for freshmen is the University of Iowa, where freshmen will pay $14,828 including all costs. Indiana is the second most affordable with a total cost of $16,298. And Wisconsin, ranks as the third most affordable with a total cost of $16,677.

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