EIU Tuition discount extended with passage of bill
Eastern Illinois University (EIU) would extend its tuition discount under a bill passed by the House on Wednesday.
Senate Bill 930, sponsored in the House by Rep. Reginal Phillips (R-Charleston), has already passed the Senate and now awaits Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature. Phillips said the discount has helped hundreds of students.
“SB930 is an extension of the...tuition affordable discount program that EIU first brought in during 2011,” Pihllips said. “What it does is extend a 10 percent discount to be covered by EIU for tuition for those that don’t meet the poverty rate or fall in between a certain level. It’s been a successful program.”
SB930 will extend the so-called Panther Promise program from July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2026. It provides students with a household income between $33,000 and $71,000 - or 151 percent to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, respectively – to receive yearly tuition discounts of up $2,500 for up to four years. The discount covers approximately a fifth of a student’s yearly tuition and fees.
The bill was originally proposed by Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) and passed the Senate chambers at the end of April. Righter also called the program a success, stating that it helped bring in additional tuition revenue.
"It's targeted at those families that make too much to qualify for MAP grants and other aid but who have a real need for assistance because of other circumstances," Righter said.
The bill received bipartisan sponsorship from Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana), with Rep. Chad Hays (R-Catlin) expressing his appreciation to Phillips for presenting the bill to the floor as voting started.
“I appreciate you bringing this legislation,” Hays said. “This has helped countless low- and moderate-income students to be able to attend EIU. I think it’s a creative program, and thank you for extending it well into the future.”
SB930 passed the House unanimously.