House bill may mean end to tuition waivers

Luis Martinez, Administration Editor

In early March, a house bill proposing the eliminating tuition waivers for students who are related to faculty and staff was heard by the Illinois general assembly.

If the bill is passed, it would mean the 50-percent tuition waivers earned by public universities employees to help send their children to universities would no longer be able to do so.

Employees at public institutions are able to earn the waiver after a period a seven years

President Perry said if the tuition waivers were eliminated, it might have some minor impact on students applying to Eastern, but not much.

“It might mean, for a student who didn’t have the waiver, there might have to be some extra scholarships in their financial aid,” Perry said.

Perry also said the tuition wavier is an important item to have, especially in terms of retention of faculty and staff.

Blair Lord, vice president of academic affairs, said if the waivers were to be eliminated, then it would be assumed that the students who are dependent on the wavier might not come to Eastern.

“We certainly have some students who are dependent of employees,” Lord said. “The assumption is if the waivers disappeared, then none of them would come to Eastern, but I’m not sure that’s so. Some of them might still come here.”

Lord also said Eastern still has a good value of education, so the effect on admissions may mean a few less students would come to Eastern.

“There would undoubtedly be a few students that might not come because the price point might not be to their liking or their family’s liking,” Lord said. “But I don’t think it would have a huge effect on admissions, but it would have some.”

Lord said in his role of hiring faculty, it becomes difficult to find them when the benefits start to change.

“Anytime they start to change the perceived benefits of a job, you may not be able to attract the same people,” Lord said. “So I also think it would have a negative effect on our ability to hire employees we want to hire.”

Currently, the bill was placed in a short debate in the house, and there is no other official word on the matter.

Sen. Dale Righter and Rep. Reginald Phillips were both unavailable to comment on the bill.

 

Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]