Monday, June 10, 2013

University of Illinois Springfield tops $1,000,000 in scholarship gifts

UIS first-year student Raygene Brice lived in a shelter when she was younger. Inspired by her excellent and involved high school teachers, Raygene developed a fierce desire to become a teacher so that she also could "change the world, one classroom at a time."

Raygene wanted a smaller college, where just like her high school teachers, professors would know her and care about her success. She found the right-sized school at UIS.

But how could she afford college, even at a public university, with costs rising and state funding declining? She had the academic qualifications. She had the drive to succeed. She just didn't have the money and neither did her mother.

The University of Illinois' three-year Access Illinois Scholarship Initiative was created for students like Raygene. The Initiative, which began on July 1, 2011, seeks to raise support for scholarships to help students and their families offset tuition costs that have risen sharply as state funding for the University has declined over the last decade.

To date, the Initiative at University of Illinois Springfield has topped $1,000,000 with more than 1,000 scholarship gifts. The Initiative will continue through June 30, 2014. For more information, including a 1:1 match for qualified gifts, please go to

"We are excited at UIS to have passed the million dollar mark," said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. “We are extremely appreciative of the community support that has made this possible. Clearly, Springfield is proud of its public university, and we are just as proud to be such a vital part of this community."

For Brice, her Access Illinois scholarship made all the difference. "If I had not gotten the scholarship," she said, "I would not be in college. UIS saw I needed this, and I feel like I can't fail now."

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