University Of Illinois To Freeze Tuition As Part Of Enrollment Growth initiativeBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
The University of Illinois is rolling out a new initiative to boost its enrollment for the next five years. It includes freezing tuition to encourage more students to apply. The Chicago Tribune reported that the university aims to increase its enrollment by 15 percent. This will lead to a growth in its three campuses to over 93,000 students.
By 2021, university leaders aim to add about 12,150 students. This is expected to be achieved through increases in undergraduate programs at the Chicago campus as well as graduate and online programs in Urbana - Champaign.
The initiative was developed as the University of Illinois encourages locals and underrepresented minorities to get a college education. A tuition freeze has also been proposed for incoming Illinois students for the third straight year.
University president Timothy Killeen said that a lot of qualified students leave the state due to the cost of in-state higher education. He believes that the school should be competitive on cost in order to preserve the local talent.
The Urbana - Champaign campus will be creating new online master's-level degree programs. It will encompass subjects like computer science, accounting as well as business administration.
Robin Kaler, the Urbana - Champaign campus spokesperson, noted that online programs have become increasingly popular. It will be one of the major tools to help broaden course selections for students who cannot attend classes in campus.
According to The News-Gazette, 80 percent of the school's on-campus undergraduate enrollment at its three campuses is composed of Illinois residents. An estimated 25 percent of all undergraduates are African-American or Latino.
On Wednesday, Killeen admitted that new revenue was a factor considered in the development of the initiative. However, its primary goal was to provide world-class education to local residents.
It seems like the University of Illinois is on its way. In the last two years, enrollment has grown by 12,700 students since fall 2006. Moreover, applications have increased to 80 percent over the last decade.