Illinois colleges fail in-state students

Elizabeth Hsieh, Feature Writer

Almost half of all high school graduating classes in the US rely on public schools to provide affordable and local alternatives, but for senior students in Illinois, it is survival of the financially fittest.
According to the Chicago Tribune, in 2015-16, the nationwide average in-state cost for a four-year public college – including tuition, fees, and room and board – was $19,548. These competitive rates keep many students in-state, but this incentive is lost to Illinois residents.
For Illinois residents, the cost of in-state colleges is much more comparable to the national average annual out-of-state tuition: $34,031. Illinois students can pay up to $36,010 per year at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign and $29,552 at Illinois State University.
Out-of-state colleges might be a better option in the long run because they open many opportunities that may be infeasible locally. With different specializations and locations, colleges play a key role in helping students break into certain markets and industries. Illinois students on the fence about going out-of-state may find that the benefits outweigh the immediate amount saved by staying local.
The belief that out-of-state college is bitingly expensive is also not valid in all cases. Though a more extreme alternative, many European countries – such as Germany, Iceland, Norway, and more – offer courses in English and give virtually free tuition to all students. Other European countries charge tuition, but only a few thousand at most.
Students that prefer to stay in English-speaking countries can find a medium in colleges in the United Kingdom, which offer international student tuition typically cheaper than out-of-state rates.
Tuition wise, Illinois has failed its students, leaving them to look to out-of-state and international colleges because there are few better options in-state.