Students who are active duty military military members, those serving in most Reserve units or the National Guard or who are exploring study abroad options will see many changes at SIUE after approvals from May’s Board of Trustees meeting.
The new alternate per-credit-hour tuition rate for active duty military members and those serving in most Reserve units or the National Guard is set at $250, which equals the maximum benefit provided by the U.S. Department of Defense’s military tuition assistance program. It goes into effect in Fall 2019.
Chancellor Randy Pembrook said the initiative is intended to create more support for veterans and active military personnel, as well as making SIUE more competitive with other schools that offer similar benefits.
“In general, I think we are trying to find ways to support either veterans or active military, and so this fit into an overall commitment to those who serve the country in this way,” Pembrook said.
According to Director of Veteran Services Kevin Wathen, the alternate tuition rate would particularly help reservists.
“There’s been a lot of talk about how this is going to help Scott Air Force Base, but it’s also going to really help reservists,” Wathen said. “Reservists don’t really get the same educational benefits that National Guard people do in Illinois. So really, a lot of times those reservists sign the dotted line just like everybody else does, [but] they don’t receive those educational benefits. So, this would be a gigantic benefit to reservists as well.”
The alternate tuition rate is not applicable for professional programs above the master’s level, and the School of Business and the School of Engineering’s differential surcharges will not apply to active duty military students.
The board also voted to join the International Student Exchange Program, which included a corresponding study abroad program fee. The fee for the semester exchange is $5,983.90 and includes housing, meal plan, transcripts and more.
According to Study Abroad Adviser Kim Browning, all the costs of a typical exchange will be paid to SIUE when going abroad through ISEP.
“It is an extreme exchange, that is, in the sense of instead of our normal exchange in which you pay your tuition here and pay housing, meals and fees there, this is you pay housing, meals, fees and tuition to SIUE and nothing on the other end,” Browning said. “So, you’re truly going abroad for the price of an airline ticket, because you’re already paying your education here.”
Browning said ISEP provides access to approximately 300 locations, providing students with more options to explore locations of interest.
“This gives you an opportunity to explore a little further and maybe go a little bit deeper into a country than you would have through our one-size-fits-all affiliates,” Browning said. “When I call them one-size-fits-all, they have a limited number of places they go and they’re very good at it, they’ve created a lot of programs there, but ISEP has exchange partnerships with lots of universities in different places.”
In other news, board chairman Phil Gilbert said the board hopes to have a new SIU system president by Jan. 2020. Gilbert said the 27-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee is representative of both campuses and relative constituency groups.
“The names were submitted by Chancellor Pembrook, [Interim SIU Carbondale] Chancellor Dunn, Dean [and provost of the SIU School of Medicine Jerry] Kruse and a lot of the members are from constituency groups that have to be represented on search committees, and they submitted names, and the search committee was selected out of those names that were submitted, and there’s equal representation between Edwardsville and Carbondale,” Gilbert said.