News Local/State

Tuition Plan Seeks to End Flight of Students to Other States

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Main Quad

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Main Quad Travis Stansel/Illinois Public Media

Starting next fall, the University of Illinois will be offering eight semesters of free tuition and fees to qualified in-state students whose family income is below $61,000 annually.

Called Illinois Commitment, it is part of an effort to keep talented students of modest means from seeking their college education from outside the state. The offer is worth at least $15,000, depending on the student's major.

Chancellor Robert Jones says university officials believe the program has the potential to attract students who have not taken a serious look at the university. He adds it can also help stop the "brain drain" of top students to colleges in other states.

The university's action comes in the wake of legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner aimed at persuading in-state students to choose Illinois colleges.