Olsen Co-Sponsors Bill to Control Tuition Increases, Increase Financial Aid Opportunities for In-State U of I Students

Concerned over the number of Illinois high school graduates who are pursuing college educations in other states, State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) is co-sponsoring legislation that would control tuition hikes, increase financial aid for lower income students and increase overall graduation rates by students from Illinois who attend the University of Illinois.

“Today we are seeing an alarming number of Illinois high school graduates who are continuing their educations in other states,” said Olsen, a 2011 University of Illinois graduate. “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.”

Through HB 2996, a five-year commitment would be established between the State of Illinois and the University of Illinois, to accomplish the following:

State of Illinois’ Obligations:

1. Allocate stable funding (starting at FY15 levels) to the University annually during each year of the agreement

2. Create an Illinois Excellence fund to support the University’s efforts to retain and recruit top tier faculty

3. Reform the Procurement Code in ways that provide the University with flexibility and improve efficiency

4. Amend the Property Control Act in ways that ease cumbersome regulations

5. Reinstate the Certificate of Participation Program to finance academic buildings

University of Illinois’ Obligations:

1. Maintain specified graduation and retention rates

2. May not increase tuition and fees by more than the rate of inflation

3. Illinois residents must comprise at least 50% of any enrollment growth

4. Admit 14,000 Illinois HS graduates to UI-UC, 11,800 to UIC, and 1,500 to UIS annually

5. Commit at least $170 million to in-state financial aid through the Invest in Illinoisans program

6. Provide annual report to the State on key indicators

“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. “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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