College Is Expensive: Illinois Students Have New Option

The+University+of+Illinois%27+newest+students+may+be+a+bit+more+excited+to+start+their+education+now.
The University of Illinois' newest students may be a bit more excited to start their education now.

The University of Illinois' newest students may be a bit more excited to start their education now.

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The University of Illinois' newest students may be a bit more excited to start their education now.

Jessica Fosse, Life Editor

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University of Illinois has offered full four-year tuition to Illinois-resident students in a house with an annual income less than $61,000. The benefits of this change affect the state, school and students.

The school has more than one requirement in order to meet the qualifications of the free tuition. According to the U of I website, the applicant and parents must be an Illinois residents, the family’s income is less than $61,000 and the applicant is under 24 years old.

According to the Data USA website, Edwardsville has an approximate income of $68,000, so some students of this area may not qualify under all their requirements. But for the few that need money for college in order to further educate themselves can get it through this program.

And to all the students who have their hearts set on a big university or an Ivy League miles and miles away, if you can’t afford the college you want then it’s not worth it.

U of I is approximately two and a half hours from Edwardsville. That may not be as far away as some students would like to get, but it’s better than graduating with debt. National student debt has reached $1.3 trillion according to The Washington Post.

The problem can now be avoidable to students who couldn’t afford college anyways because of this.

However, the offer benefits the Illinois economy as well. Students leave the state to attend other colleges because of better financial or academic value. When students leave they end up pursuing jobs in the state they move to.

But if students remain in Illinois to attend college then the Illinois population will be increasing rather than decreasing. According to the world population review website, Illinois population has been steadily decreasing since 2014. Free tuition has the potential to reverse that.

And with more students attending U of I, more attention will be drawn towards the school, so the potential of out-of-state students will hopefully increase.

The U of I offer is not something to be overlooked; it’s a bold move but in the right direction. Illinois as a whole will benefit in small and large ways.

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