Illinois third in U.S. for average in-state tuition, pricing people out of college

Illinois third in U.S. for average in-state tuition, pricing people out of college

Illinois’ average in-state tuition to public universities is among the highest in the nation. Getting an education is crucial to escaping poverty, putting Illinoisans at a great disadvantage.

Illinois’ average in-state tuition is the third highest in the nation, putting up a barrier for Illinoisans trying escape poverty by getting an education in their home state.

Illinois’ average in-state tuition is nearly $15,000, more than $5,000 higher than the national average of $9,750. A high price tag to attend state schools forces people to either leave their home state for education or take on more college debt.

The only states pricier than Illinois were Vermont and New Hampshire. Illinois has the highest in-state tuition among the nation’s 10 most populous states.

From 2007 to 2022, the cost of in-state tuition for Illinois’ 12 public universities has skyrocketed by an average of 49%. The national average for public university tuition has increased by nearly 21% over roughly the same time.

So does the third-highest price tag in the country yield the third-best schools? Nope. Illinois does not rank in the top 10 for any criteria used by U.S. News & World Report when rating the best states for higher education: 2-year graduation rates, 4-year graduation rates, low debt at graduation and educational attainment.

Center for Poverty Solutions research shows education is a cornerstone to escaping poverty. Education improves lifetime earnings and median earnings improve with every level of education completed.

Helping Chicagoans and Illinoisans broadly starts with making college education more affordable, or at least stopping the growth of tuition.

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