What Does it Really Cost to Attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
With the costs of college rising every year, it’s natural to have concerns about how you’ll pay for it. Especially if all you have to go on is the average cost a family might pay.
But even with knowing the average cost a family might pay, the exact cost for your family may be hard to predict. The differences between in-state and out-of-state tuition, your family’s finances, and a host of other factors determine your student’s cost of attending a given school.
In this series, we break down the institutional and familial factors that influence this cost for individual colleges so you have a better idea of what to expect. Continue reading to learn more about what an education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign might cost for your student.
Why Are College Costs So Variable?
The first number you’ll see for a school is the list price, also known as the sticker price. This is the amount a family would be expected to pay for their student to attend a school without any financial assistance. Most colleges include at least tuition, room and board, and some campus activity fees in this number, but you should verify what is included when considering your expenses.
Looking at list price alone, many schools would be untenable options. But very few students actually pay this amount for these institutions. Instead, looking at the net cost—what families typically pay out of pocket (including loans)—can be a much more valuable number to help decide whether you can afford a school.
The net cost can differ from the list price due to three main factors: federal, state, and local government aid; institutional financial aid; and merit scholarships. It is difficult to predict how much aid your student will receive in these categories, but with more school-specific information, you can better predict what your student’s net cost of attendance will be.
What is the List Price at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
Because the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public institution, there are two list prices. For in-state students in 2016-2017, the list price was $30,064. For out-of-state students in 2016-2017, the list price was $45,686.
These numbers might seem high at first, but few students pay list price. Typically only wealthy families who earn more than $175,000 per year and whose student is not in the top 30% of the accepted students will pay this amount.
What is the Net Cost of Attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
Because net cost depends on the three variable factors of government aid, institutional aid, and merit aid, it can be helpful to break it down further. Merit aid can be hard to predict, so we’ll look at the net cost after government and institutional aid.
With financial aid only, the average net cost for in-state students at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016-2017 was $26,982. For out-of-state students in 2016-2017, the average net cost with financial aid was $42,604.
For students not qualifying for financial aid, the 2016-2017 net cost for in-state students was $28,952. For out-of-state students, the net cost was $44,574.
What is the Income-Based Cost of Attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
Because financial aid depends largely on a family’s income, breaking down average net cost by income level can be even more helpful.
The average net cost of attending University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign based on family income can be found in the below table:
|Family Income||Average Net Cost|
How Much Merit Aid is Typical at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
The third factor impacting net cost is merit aid. These awards can vary drastically from student to student, but looking at average merit awards can be helpful to understand how generous a school is with their awards.
Around 22.2% of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students without need receive merit aid and the average amount awarded for these students is $1,112. Because the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public institution, the merit aid your student is eligible for may depend on whether you have resident are an in-state or out-of-state resident. The school offers a list of merit aid scholarships on their website.
In a pool of 1,000 institutions that CollegeVine analyzed for merit aid generosity, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ranked 752. Like many other prestigious schools, a lower ranking is typical.
How Many Students Take Out Loans to Attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
With this cost of attendance for many students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, it is unsurprising that 28% of students here take out federal loans. The average federal loan amount for these students is $4,548.
A higher percentage take on loans when you include private loans. Per the school’s website, around 44% of in-state students took on loans for a total average amount of $22,431. Around 65% of out-of-state students took on private loans for an average loan debt of $28,650.
With this sort of investment, it is understandable to wonder at the value of the education. Eighty-three percent of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign graduate within six years. The average salary for alumni ten years after graduation is $61,500.
Local Area Cost Considerations
There are other costs associated with attending college besides the list or net cost. These costs are the things your student will need to live on their own, from snacks and laundry detergent for dorm life or grocery stores and rent for living off-campus.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is located in the cities of Urbana, Illinois, and Champaign, Illinois. Though the cost of living varies slightly between these two cities, both are below the U.S. average at 82.8 and 86.8% respectively. With a college presence in the cities as well as entertainment offerings, big sporting events, and a mix of restaurants and museums, life in this metropolitan area is a good value.
The average cost of a studio apartment in the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan area is $678, with 1-bedrooms averaging $696, 2-bedrooms averaging $836, and 3-bedrooms averaging $1069. Rent prices may be higher closer to campus.
Minimum wage in Illinois is slightly higher than the national minimum at $8.25 per hour, with an increase to $15 by 2025 signed into law in February 2019.
Other Ways to Help Fund a College Education
Government, institutional, and merit aid aren’t the only ways to fund a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign education. Outside scholarships are another way to get college funds. One of the most popular of these is the National Merit Scholarship, which all students in their junior or equivalent year taking the PSAT are automatically considered for based on their test scores. For more information, check out our blog post on qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship.
The National Merit Scholarship is just one of many outside scholarships your student may apply for. A list of scholarships for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students is available here.
Wading through the financial aid prospects and policies at different schools is just one challenge of the college application process. For more information about the cost of college, building a school list, or how to maximize an application, consider CollegeVine’s Applications Program. Your student will work one on one with an admissions specialist to maximize their chances at their top schools with step-by-step guidance through the entire applications process, including a proprietary return-on-investment college cost calculator.
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