University News

Western Leads State Universities in Four-Year Guarantees

March 24, 2009

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MACOMB, IL -- The promise of a quality education from an accredited public university may seem more like a dream than a reality these days. Students and families may wonder if they will be able to afford the rising costs of higher education. Western Illinois University makes that dream of attending a college a reality by providing a quality, accessible and affordable education.

While other public universities in Illinois offer fixed tuition rates for students, Western was the first – and is still the only – university in the state to offer an exclusive Cost Guarantee that includes fixed tuition, fees, room and board.

This means when students enter the University as a freshman, transfer student or graduate student, what they pay their first year is what they will pay during each of their years of continuous enrollment … with no hidden charges or surprise expenses along the way.

"Western's Cost Guarantee program has been a huge benefit to our family. As a parent with two children currently attending Western, and one who graduated from WIU in 2007, you can understand why budget planning is a necessity," said Gina Colley. "My job consists of working with budgets, and I love it when the figures are right there in front of you. With Western's Cost Guarantee we know exactly what our bill will be each semester, which gives us a clear vision of our expense for the next four years.

"In these hard economic times it pleases me to know that our bill will not increase each year," she added. "Even though we do not know what the future holds in our careers and investments, we do know how to budget for the next four years."

Western also offers the GradTrac guarantee – students who stick with their academic plan will graduate in four years. If eligible students meet the requirements, but still fail to graduate in four years, WIU will pay the tuition for the remaining courses needed for graduation.

"Western has established its role as a leader in providing a predictable and affordable education with its Cost Guarantee and GradTrac programs," said Western President Al Goldfarb. "Our commitment to providing a high quality, accessible and affordable education has been recognized by The Princeton Review and the College Guide for Access and Opportunity."

WIU's Signature Academic Programs are unique to the region, and in some instances, the nation; offer outstanding academic opportunities over comparable programs; and have a strong employer demand for graduates.

Broadcasting (B.A.) - The only sports broadcasting production program in the state.

Construction Management (B.S.) - WIU is one of only two universities in the state to offer this program.

Emergency Management (B.S.) - First undergraduate degree program in the state developed in response to 9/11 and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

Forensic Chemistry (B.S.) - One of only nine programs of its kind in the nation, among public universities.

Law Enforcement and Justice Administration (B.S.) - The fourth largest program of its kind in the U.S.

Meteorology (B.S.) - The only program in the state to have its own radar system, and one of only three programs in Illinois.

Musical Theatre (B.F.A.) - The only B.F.A. in musical theatre in Illinois at a public university.

Supply Chain Management (B.B.) - One of three programs of its kind in the state, and one of only 39 AACSB accredited programs in the nation.

Recognized as one of the "Best in the Midwest Colleges" by The Princeton Review and selected as one of just 21 public universities ranked a Tier 1 Midwestern Masters Institution by U.S. News and World Report, Western Illinois University serves more than 13,000 students through its traditional, residential, four-year campus in Macomb, IL, and its upper division, urban commuter location in the Quad Cities/Moline, IL.

WIU's campus communities are comprised of dedicated faculty, state-of-the-art technologies and facilities and a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities for students and staff. The University offers 62 undergraduate degree programs, 36 graduate degree programs, 13 pre-professional degree programs, 15 certificate programs and a doctorate degree.The four core values at the heart of Western are academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth and social responsibility.

Western Illinois is a member of the NCAA Division I (NCAA Football Championship Subdivision), sponsoring 10 men's and 10 women's sports. The University is a charter member of The Summit League and the Missouri Valley Football Conference. WIU-Macomb is the cultural center of the region, presenting outstanding concerts, lectures, dramatic presentations, films and dance attractions.

For more information about Western Illinois University, contact the Office of Admissions at (877) PICK-WIU (742-5948) or To apply, visit and click on "Apply Now."

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing