Ben Goold 0

Stop the Tuition Increase

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To the University of Illinois Board of Trustees,

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the recently approved 21% increase in tuition for the University of Illinois College of Medicine. This change would make the University of Illinois College of Medicine the most expensive public medical school in the country. We believe this is the wrong decision.

It is contrary to the mission of our school. 1 in 6 Illinois physicians are University of Illinois graduates (1), and the college trained 129 primary care physicians in 2010 alone (2). Increasing the cost of attendance to nearly $300,000 dollars will deter students from serving in primary care.  The citizens of Illinois will be hurt by this.

It will hurt the diversity of our school. In the midst of an economic downturn, one that is disproportionately hurting underrepresented minorities and working class families, the moderate tuition of the University of Illinois College of Medicine (UICOM) offers families a dream—the dream of having a doctor in the family. By raising cost of attendance to $293,556, that dream is further out of reach.

It will deter prospective students from entering medicine and place an undue burden on those that do. According to the University of Illinois budget of 2011-2012(4):  “… [Healthcare] students are already bearing their share of the higher instructional cost. Continuing to increase student tuition and fees will create an even greater economic barrier to potential health science students, thus reducing the pool of students available to be trained.” This burden is aggravated by recent economic events including the loss of subsidized student loans and declining physician salaries.  

It was made with no input from students, faculty, or the citizens of Illinois. At a public institution, this lack of transparency is improper. Further, there is no mention of why the tuition was increased 21% in the College of Medicine in the 2012-2013 tuition decision minutes from the Board of Trustees meeting on January 21 (3). In light of such an enormous increase, explicit justification and proposed use for the funds is necessary and appropriate.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, ask the following.
(1) That the University of Illinois Board of Trustees reverse their decision to increase tuition at the College of Medicine.
(2) That tuition at the College of Medicine be subject to the same policies as the undergraduate colleges with all tuition costs frozen for all four years of attendance.
(3) And that students and faculty be fully involved in future decisions to increase tuition, as stated in the bylaws of our University.

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1. University of Illinois Board of Trustees Minutes, 20Jan2011, Resolution-Tuition.
2. Mullan et. al. (2010). The Social Mission of Medical Education: Ranking the Schools. Ann Intern Med. 2010;152:804-811.
3. University of Illinois Board of Trustees Minutes, 19Jan2012, Resolution-Tuition.
4. Office of the President, University of Illinois. Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request for Operating and Capital Funds.

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University of Illinois Students for Affordable Medical Education (UI-SAME)


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