Undergraduate Guaranteed Tuition Program

In 2003, the University of Illinois Act was amended (110 ILCS 305/25) to include a four‑year tuition guarantee for new students who enroll after the 2003-2004 academic year. The purpose of the undergraduate guaranteed tuition program is to provide a high degree of certainty about tuition costs for students and families. The plan applies to all undergraduate students enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program on one of the three campuses of the University and treats every student as part of a cohort defined by the date of entry to the University. Each cohort is guaranteed an unchanged tuition schedule for four years.

The University will continue to maintain tuition schedules for students who do not qualify for a tuition guarantee. These students will be classified as part of the “without guarantee” cohort.

The tuition schedules list the tuition rates by degree program, residency status, and number of credit hours enrolled for each cohort on each campus. Thus, the plan allows for different tuition rates among the campuses and also for differential rates by academic program. Most students will pay one rate for four years. Only those students who change degree programs or campuses may pay a different rate but that new rate will be based on the tuition schedule for their particular cohort.

Classification of Students

Undergraduate tuition schedules will be established for each student cohort. When students enter the University, they will follow the tuition schedule set for new students for that particular semester. Cohorts are identified by the Fall, Spring, or Summer term in which they enter.

  • New Students (Freshman and Transfer) – New baccalaureate students first enrolling at the University beginning with the 2004 Summer semester are guaranteed one tuition schedule for four (4) calendar years. The four-year guarantee expires with the end of the term (Fall, Spring, or Summer) immediately preceding the fourth anniversary of initial enrollment. (For example, students who enter in the 2004 Fall term will be guaranteed their cohort tuition through the 2008 Summer term. Likewise, those entering in the 2005 Spring term will be guaranteed their cohort tuition through the 2008 Fall term.) Their tuition will not change during the four years unless they change majors or campuses and their new programs have different tuition rates. In such cases, they would pay the appropriate tuition using the tuition schedule for their cohort.
  • Readmitted Students – Students who withdraw for any reason, other than for U.S. military service as defined below, and re-enroll will remain in the cohort they were in when they withdrew. Their guarantee expiration date will not be extended as a result of the withdrawal. Students readmitted after their guarantee has expired will be classified as part of the “without guarantee” cohort.
  • Full or Part-time Status – Rules for the determination of cohort status are not affected by full- or part-time status.
  • Students Changing Colleges or Majors – Students changing majors or colleges shall maintain their cohort status and will be assessed tuition based on their new major. Their cohort and the expiration date of their guarantee will not change.
  • Students Transferring to Another U of I Campus – Students transferring to a degree program on another campus of the University of Illinois will maintain their cohort status at the new campus. Their tuition will be assessed using the tuition schedule of the new campus but the cohort and expiration of the guarantee will not change.
  • Online Students – Students who enroll in online baccalaureate degree programs will be given the same tuition guarantees and fall under the same cohort policies as on-campus students.
  • Students whose Guarantees Expire – At the end of the four years, a student who has not completed his/her degree will be placed in the tuition cohort immediately following, including students who are in differential rate programs. This student may remain in that cohort for a maximum of two years. If he/she has not graduated after two years, the student will be placed in the “without guarantee” cohort.
  • Withdrawal from the University for U.S. Military or Other U.S. National Defense Services – Students who are called to active duty in the United States military as a result of national emergency or as a result of the mobilization of the reserve forces, including the National Guard, and re-enroll at the University within two years of their withdrawal, will be entitled to resume their four year guarantee for the amount of time remaining in their guarantee at the time of their military withdrawal. The student must submit a petition to initiate the extension or refund. Those students who re-enroll after two years from the time of their withdrawal will be assigned to the “without guarantee” student cohort.
  • Degree Programs Requiring More than Four Years – Those students enrolled in baccalaureate programs that normally require more than 140 semester hours of credit will be entitled to a one semester extension of their guarantee. Such students will either be assessed tuition at their guaranteed rate or will receive a refund adjustment of the difference between their assessed rate and their guaranteed rate. The student must submit a petition to initiate the extension or refund.
  • Co-Ops, Internships and Practicums – Students enrolled in these programs will be entitled to an extension of their guarantee for two semesters. Such students will either be assessed tuition at their guaranteed rate or will receive a refund adjustment of the difference between their assessed rate and their guaranteed rate. The student must submit a petition to initiate the extension or refund.
  • Guarantee Extensions – Extensions of the guarantee period will only be granted to those students who withdraw for U.S. military or other U.S. national defense services or those who are enrolled in degree programs requiring more than four years, as defined above.
  • Non-degree – Non-degree students are assessed tuition based on the schedules for the “without guarantee” cohort.
  • Without Guarantee – The University will maintain a tuition schedule for all those students not covered by the new guaranteed tuition program. This includes all those students enrolled in the University prior to the 2004 Summer semester, which is the beginning of the guaranteed program, non-degree students and any other students not eligible for the guarantee.

Phase-in Period

Although this tuition plan will be mandatory for all new students, allowances will be made to accommodate students enrolled or authorized to enroll prior to implementation of this policy. For such students, they will be assigned to the “without guarantee” cohort whose tuition will be determined each year in a manner consistent with the policies which preceded this program. The same will apply to non-degree students and any other students not eligible for the guarantee.

Administration

The Registrar, or a designee, shall determine the cohort classification of each student at the time the student enters the University. These rules for cohort classification are straightforward and there is little room for interpretation or appeal. However, a student who is not satisfied with a determination concerning his/her cohort classification may request that the responsible official reconsider the determination. A petition (download below) must be received by the Registrar by September 30 for the fall term; February 15 for the spring term; and June 20 for the summer term. The request should include the reasons that justify a different cohort classification and documentation supporting those reasons.

If the student is still not satisfied with the determination after it has been reconsidered, the student may appeal the decision to the Director of University-wide Student Programs. The appeal shall be in writing and shall include the reasons for the appeal. The appeal request must be received by the Registrar within 20 days of the notice of the ruling (reconsideration). The appeal will then be forwarded to the Director of University-wide Student Programs. A student who fails to file such an appeal within 20 days of the notice of the ruling waives all claims to reconsideration for that academic term.

The decision of the Director of University-wide Student Programs shall be final in all cases.

Petition for Extension of Undergraduate Guaranteed Tuition