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SIU considers a financial relief to try and regain students

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Freeze it, not raise it. That's what some SIU students are saying.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale senior Emma Chapman says paying for college is very stressful. She hopes university leaders are able to follow through with a plan to freeze tuition and fees.

"Figuring out financial aid on how to afford to get your education is terrifying, and so knowing that your tuition prices aren't going to change throughout your college career that's fantastic," Chapman said.

Other students agree it would be a move in the right direction.

Freshman Ethan Koller said it would really help him, "because college is expensive, and I'm a business student so my tuition is already higher than most people."

Freshman Amanda Jacobson added there's another benefit from Spring to Fall semester, "You could budget yourself throughout school. It wouldn't change at all throughout the year."

SIU Carbondale raised tuition 3.9% in 2017, another 2% in 2018 and then held steady in 2019.

Tuition and fees for an underclassman are nearly $15,000 this year, plus about $10,000 more for room and board for those students choosing to live on campus.

Some students say if the university instates a freeze, they'll be more likely to consider applying for graduate school at SIU.

Koller says, "Obviously if I don't have to pay more it would put this school potentially over other schools."

Chapman hopes the proposal is approved, because she says she wants every student to have a fighting chance to pursue higher education.

She explains, "Any way we can kind of breakdown any kind of gate keeping from going to college is a move in the right direction. It's exactly what we should be doing as a society."

The SIU Board of Trustees will discuss freezing tuition and fees at their board meeting on February 13 in Edwardsville.

Fahima Paghmani

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