Dear Colleagues,

Today we formally announce an ambitious new initiative to make an Illinois education more accessible to even more residents of our state. We call it the Illinois Commitment, a tuition promise plan that makes it easier for more students from low- and moderate-income families to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Beginning with first-time freshmen and new transfer students in the fall of 2019, all tuition and campus fees will be fully covered for four years if an in-state student’s family income is $61,000 (the median for the state) or less.

Four years. Free tuition. It really is that simple.  

The goal of the Illinois Commitment is to ensure all of our state’s most promising and talented high school students put Illinois at the top of their lists when they start the college application process. Each year, too many of these highly qualified students look at a single cost-of-attendance number and don’t even start an admissions application because they don’t believe we are an affordable choice for them. The Illinois Commitment is a bold and necessary step to simplify the concept of financial aid and open the door to an Illinois education for more families in our state. It will provide more access with fewer obstacles and leave our graduates with less student debt.

When Illinois residents go out of state for college, there is a good chance they don’t come back - contributing to a “brain drain” that undermines the future of the entire state. With the Illinois Commitment, we gain a new competitive edge to recruit the best new students, and our state keeps our talented young minds in Illinois.

We are all excited to launch this program today and look forward to welcoming our first recipients of the Illinois Commitment support to the Illinois family next fall. We begin accepting applications for the entering class of 2019 in just a few days, and I’m confident we’re going to see many more Illinois residents exploring the opportunities that can only be found at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Robert J. Jones

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Academic Professionals, Civil Service & Faculty
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