The University Budget and Tuition


Tuition costs for each campus are set annually by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. The ratio of non-resident to resident tuition is approximately 2.5:1.

Students enrolled in certain, high-cost, high-demand curricula with higher starting wages for graduates, such as engineering and business, pay higher differential rates of tuition to help cover those costs. (Learn more about tuition.)

Each year, the University Office for Planning and Budgeting prepares a document that provides the Board of Trustees with data necessary for the members to set tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year. This document — Background Information Concerning Tuition and Financial Aid — includes institutional comparisons, instructional costs, explanations of differential tuition, state spending levels and details on financial aid.

In 2003, the University of Illinois Act was amended (110 ILCS 305/25) to include a four-year tuition guarantee (Policy and FAQ) for new Illinois-resident undergraduate students enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program at the University. The plan allows students and families to budget for tuition costs. Each student is considered part of a cohort defined by the date of entry to the University. Each cohort is guaranteed an unchanged tuition schedule for four years. Tuition for continuing students does not rise per the Illinois public universities’ four-year tuition guarantee.

For more detailed information, refer to the tuition and fee pages on each campus website:

Financial Aid

University financial experts advise students and their families to differentiate between college "sticker price" and the real cost after financial aid and tax credits and deductions.

In fall 2010, for example, more than half of U of I students paid less than full cost or "sticker price" of tuition because of need- and merit-based aid provided by the University and federal and state grant programs. At Urbana-Champaign, 46 percent of students paid less than full cost; 60 percent at the Chicago campus; and 70 percent at the Springfield campus.

For more information about financial aid, check:

Tuition Waivers

The University of Illinois is mandated to provide tuition waivers to a number of groups, including students designated by state legislators, veterans and children of University employees. For example in 2004, more than 1,150 students received waivers on the three U of I campuses at a cost of $7.3 million. In 2009, the University provided more than 2,730 U of I students with tuition waivers that cost $18.9 million. In July 2012, Gov Quinn signed into law a ban on legislative scholarships.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education collects information each year from Illinois public universities, including the University of Illinois, on the number and amounts of tuition waivers issued.


The University of Illinois revenue budget is derived from numerous sources, including state appropriations; student tuition and fees; externally sponsored research; gifts and endowment income; University Hospital revenues for patient care in the hospital and clinics; and auxiliaries and department operations income, i.e., bookstore; Assembly Hall; housing; Memorial Stadium; parking; Union operations; intercollegiate athletics; patient care at the colleges of dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Hospital, auxiliary and departments retain the income they generate.

The total operating budget for the University is $5.64 billion (fall 2014). That figure includes $1.12 billion in payments made on behalf of the University for employee benefits and $36.9 million for the academic facilities maintenance fund assessment (AFMFA). (Pocket Facts, an annual publication, provides the most recent data about the University's operating budget.)

An online chart provides current information for the amount the state is in arrears to the University in general revenue funds for the current fiscal year.

For More Information


University Relations

108 Henry Admin. Bldg.
506 S. Wright St., MC-370
Urbana, IL 61801
Tel: (217) 333-6400
Fax: (217) 333-5733

414 Administrative Ofc. Bldg.
1737 W. Polk St., MC-971
Chicago, IL 60612
Tel: (312) 996-3772