News Local/State

EIU Extends Tuition Waiver Program Through 2019


Eastern Illinois University will continue to offer a partial tuition waiver for some students under a state law that took effect on January first.  EIU's president says it's a win-win for students and the school.

The Panther Promise program started three years ago, and new state legislation extends it through 2019. 

The program waives tuition by up to $25-hundred a year for four years if a student maintains a 2.0 GPA or higher.  It’s aimed at families with household incomes ranging between $35-to-70-thousand.

Eastern Illinois University logoEIU President William Perry sees the goals of its self-funded scholarship as a way to reduce student loan debt. 

And he said Panther Promise brings in tuition dollars the university wouldn’t have otherwise.

“Once a student and a family has decided that a group of say, three universities, is a great fit, high academic standards, is going to be a great college education, then the next question, how much is it going to cost," he said.  "And so universities have to be competitive in terms of their financial aid programs.”

Enrollment has been down at EIU, with about 9,000 students currently, but Perry expects that to level out with the help of programs like Panther Promise, as well as expanding online and graduate enrollment.