Olsen wants to make it easier to become an Illini
Rep. David Olsen (R-Downers Grove) wants to put several measures in place to promote in-state attendance of the University of Illinois (UI), including limits on tuition and fee hikes and quotas for local students, according to a press release.
“Today we are seeing an alarming number of Illinois high school graduates who are continuing their educations in other states,” Olsen said, according to the release. “The lack of a budget and the uncertainty it provides for our colleges and universities is being perceived by many Illinois families as too great a risk, and as a result their children are leaving the state to attend college and are often not returning to begin their careers in Illinois.”
Olsen will have to wait at least until fall, however, as House Bill 2996 did not make it out of the House during the spring session. The measure would assist UI by ensuring campus funding from the state, helping the school attract faculty and allowing greater flexibility in procurement. It would also ease Property Control Act regulations and make it easier for the university to fund construction of academic buildings. In return, UI would be required to hit certain graduation and retention rates, as well as a 50 percent rate of Illinois residents in any enrollment growth.
The UI system would not be allowed to raise tuition and fees at a rate higher than inflation and would have to commit $170 million in financial aid to Illinois students. Further, the university’s three campuses would have quotas of Illinois high school students to be admitted each year.
“Our institutions of higher learning are in crisis, and this initiative, which was brought to us by the University of Illinois, would go far in reinstating confidence with our flag ship University,” Olsen said in the statement. “The controls placed on tuition increases and the greater access to student financial aid that are provided through this bill will improve affordability and access for Illinois students that we would like to keep in our state.”
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