CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Associate Provost for Enrollment Management said he’s witnessed an increase in admissions applications following the introduction of a new financial aid program.
Dan Mann was scheduled to talk about the program, “Illinois Commitment,” at Neutral Cycle Wednesday night. The discussion has been postponed until September 25, but Mann still spoke about financial aid.
As the associate provost, Mann oversees campus enrollment, undergraduate admissions, student financial aid, registration and records, enrollment management communications, data analysis and system service and the Principal’s Scholars Program. Illinois Commitment is a new financial aid package that offers scholarships and grants to students who are from in-state. Their families must make $61,000 or less to qualify. The program covers tuition and campus fees for incoming freshmen for up to four years of continuous enrollment, and up to three years of continuous enrollment for new transfer students.
He said this is a program that’s been discussed for several years.
“We’re trying to look at ways to make the University of Illinois more affordable for more students who are residents in the state of Illinois,” Mann explained. “This came to fruition after we looked at all the data, looked at what kind of resources could be put in to do this, but we knew we needed to do more to make the University of Illinois affordable.”
Late last month, an investigation revealed some families were giving up guardianship of their children in order for them to qualify for more financial aid. Mann said the university is looking at those cases individually.
“They probably will not be in the Illinois Commitment program because most of those families have parental assets or income that will exclude them from the program,” Mann explained. “We don’t think that’s the appropriate way. We don’t think that’s in the spirit of the financial aid programs. Those programs are there to help the truly needy families and students and it doesn’t follow the spirit that the federal money, the state money, the institutional money is designed for.”