Galesburg Reporter

Galesburg Reporter

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Pritzker approves expansion of free-tuition program for University of Illinois


By Glenn Minnis | Jan 27, 2020

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has instituted changes to the state’s tuition-assistance program at the University of Illinois that could open the door for more than half the families in the state to send a student to the university.  

“A central priority for me in this office is making college more affordable for those who can least afford it,” Pritzker told the Center Square. “The University of Illinois’ trustees have agreed to my request that they expand free tuition to families who can least afford the costs of college.”

The Illinois Commitment Program offers tuition-free enrollment to in-state residents with household incomes falling below $61,000 a year. The 10-percent increase signed off by Pritzker increases the cutoff to $67,100. Pritzker said the expanded program should be available to students in 2020, though funding does not include other costs such as housing, books and fees, which cost students an average of $31,390 last fall.  

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker |

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, between 2014 and 2018, the median Illinois household income was $63,575 annually.

Pritzker’s announcement came just 24 hours after U. of I. board of trustees approved increasing tuition costs for incoming freshmen for the first time in six years and signed off on a 40-percent salary increase for University President Tim Killeen.

For incoming freshmen, the price of tuition will jump by almost 2 percent at the school’s Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses and by 1 percent at its Springfield campus.

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