A $100 million fundraising initiative for scholarships to UI students was announced by President Michael Hogan at the June 9 meeting of the UI Board of Trustees at UIC.
Hogan and his wife, Virginia, initiated the campaign with a $100,000 gift.
"We are asking our alumni and friends to make sure economics do not stand in the way of an education," Hogan said. "This will allow us to help thousands of students get the help they deserve."
Called Access Illinois: the Presidential Scholarship Initiative, the three-year campaign will be led by the UI Foundation.
The foundation's eight-year, $2.25 billion Brilliant Future campaign ends at the end of this year.
Sidney Micek, president of the foundation, said the campaign will focus on current use gifts, making some scholarships available as early as spring or fall 2012.
"This is a universitywide, campus-
focused campaign, and each campus will determine its specific needs," he said.
The Urbana and Springfield campuses will direct their scholarships toward recruitment and retention of high-quality students, Micek said. In addition to recruitment and retention, UIC also will offer assistance for students in the health sciences.
Trustees chair Christopher Kennedy said the scholarship campaign will help to keep a UI education accessible, even as the university must increase tuition rates to make up for the decline in state funding.
Hogan said the university also reallocated $3 million to the President's Award Program, for a total of $7.5 million - the first increase for the program since it was established more than 25 years ago.
The program helps students who are academically gifted but financially disadvantaged, including minorities and students from Illinois counties underrepresented at the UI.
Individual awards through the president's program will increase to $5,000 up from about $1,000 to $3,000.
"We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make the university affordable," Hogan said of the scholarship initiative. "And in a competitive market, we want to do everything we can to attract the best students."