Income down in Illinois but tuition continues to climb

Staff Report 

Median incomes across the nation are down since 2000, but the cost of a four-year college education continues to climb, according to a new report by ProPublica.

Nationwide, median household incomes dropped 7 percent says the non-profit newsroom, from $57,724 in 2000 to $53,657 in 2014.

At the same time, tuition for the nation’s four-year public universities shot up 80 percent, from an average of $4,454 to $8,017.

Here in Illinois, the numbers are even worse, with incomes dropping 13 percent over the 15-year period from $63,324 to $54,916. Meanwhile, tuition at the state’s 12 four-year universities increased 126 percent, up to $11,627 from $5,143 in 2000.

Governors State University saw the largest increase percentage wise jumping 179.2 points. The state’s flagship campus, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, saw the largest dollar amount increase, with tuition rising nearly $10,000 since 2000 to $16,759.

Northern Illinois University recorded a 109.5 percent increase in its fees, from $6,279 to $13,154. Only Eastern Illinois University failed to realize at least a 100 percent increase in tuition from 2000 to 2014.

The bleak figures come on the back of a June report from the Economic Policy Institute which showed a decrease in net worth and income for the lower and middle classes over a similar timeframe.

Find the complete set of figures from ProPublica here.

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