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U of I President Looks To Freeze Tuition At Least 2 More Years

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The University of Illinois president told a panel of lawmakers Thursday that he'd like to maintain a freeze on tuition rates.

Tim Killeen, president of the U. of I. system, spoke directly to state Sen. Dan McConchie, whose daughter received financial aid offers from other Big Ten universities, but not the U. of I.

Consequently, she’s joining thousands of other traditional college students moving out of state.

"Sen. McConchie, congratulations to your daughter for getting into Purdue," Killeen said.

"But I can tell you we're not going away — there's always transfer opportunities," he added, drawing laughs from the panel. "There's graduate school as well.”

The U. of I. is asking for a significant budget increase — after a 10 percent cut this year — in part to fund scholarships the university hopes will help lure Illinois students to stay in-state.

"We are making inroads on being cost-competitive with our Midwest competitors," Killeen said, attributing that partly to a four-year tuition freeze.

“We're talking about maybe middle-class families, who maybe have multiple siblings who go to college. And these are expensive — these are expensive opportunities," he said.

Killeen wants to keep tuition frozen for at least another two years.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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