Wednesday, November 14, 2018

More high-achieving students can attend UIS tuition-free thanks to new program

More high-achieving students will be able to attend the University of Illinois Springfield tuition-free thanks to a new program that will provide more than $1 million in additional scholarship dollars for first-year and transfer students starting the 2019-20 academic year.

Illinois’ AIM HIGH grant pilot program is designed to keep students in Illinois for their college education, increase overall Illinois college student enrollment and retention, improve Illinois college affordability and reduce student loan debt.

To attend UIS tuition-free through the Capital Scholars Honors Program, a student must be a first-time incoming freshman or transfer student, have maintained a high school GPA of 3.50 or higher and have earned at least a 32 ACT or 1450 SAT score. High-performing students outside of the honors program will be eligible for up to $12,000 a year in Lincoln Merit Scholarships. Additionally, the grant program will allow UIS for the first time to offer tuition assistance to students at various academic levels who meet the AIM HIGH program’s financial requirements.

“The AIM HIGH grant will give more students access to a high-quality UIS education,” said UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. “We hope this additional financial support will keep more Illinois students living and working in Illinois and encourage them to come to UIS.”

The additional financial support provided by the AIM HIGH grant is made possible thanks to $25 million in state funding designated for all of the state’s public universities to share. UIS was allocated $543,000 for this program, and public universities statewide have pledged to match what they receive. For UIS, that amounts to nearly $1.1 million in additional scholarship dollars for students.

“We know the value UIS can offer students and families through our personalized learning experience, 52 academic programs, safe campus and variety of housing options,” said Natalie Herring, UIS associate provost for enrollment management. “We’re constantly working to make college more affordable for our students. In addition to University scholarships, UIS has also awarded 311 students with donor scholarships this academic year totaling more than $600,000.”

Overall, UIS is one of the most affordable public universities in Illinois. The average tuition cost at UIS per academic year is $9,405 for Illinois residents. According to an August 2018 University of Illinois System Economic Impact report, the annual return on investment for a UIS degree is 20.1 percent, which translates to a return of $6.30 in higher future earnings for every dollar that students invest in their education.

For more information on the AIM HIGH grant program at UIS, prospective students and parents are encouraged to visit or call UIS Financial Assistance at 217/206-6724.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Students thank donors at the 22nd annual UIS Scholarship Luncheon

The University of Illinois Springfield recognized scholarship donors during the 22nd annual Scholarship Luncheon on November 7, 2018. More than 270 people participated in the luncheon.

During the event, students got a chance to personally thank their donors and tell them about impact scholarships have made in helping them reach their educational goals.

“It’s a pretty exciting day,” said Jeff Lorber, UIS vice chancellor for advancement. “For some of us, it’s the most exciting day of the year on campus.”

UIS student Rebecca Smith qualified for two institutional scholarships this academic year. She came to the luncheon to meet her donors for the first time and to say thank you.

“Both of my scholarships are situational and beyond just the financial help, which is a miracle, the vote of confidence from someone who feels like you can succeed is huge when you’re a non-traditional student,” she said.

Scholarship donors Frank and Linda Kopecky started a scholarship to help English and legal studies majors. Frank is a UIS emeritus professor of legal studies and Linda earned her master’s degree in English from UIS. She taught English for several years at Springfield College.

“We’re both educators and we feel that our education has been a powerful, positive force in our life,” said Linda. “I was helped greatly by scholarships going through school, so this seemed perfectly natural and just the right thing to do.”

UIS student Thomas Rivera receives financial support from the Ted Mims Scholarship Fund, which was created by UIS alumnus Bill Hoffman in honor of a former professor who had an impact on his life. Hoffman recently retired following a 16-year career at Microsoft and more than 40 years working in information technology.

“It’s important for me because it helps me out a lot,” said Rivera. “This scholarship here helped pay for a lot of my books, online sources and things I needed for the coursework this year.”

Hoffman, who attended the event, has been looking forward to meeting Rivera for the first time.

“Probably, whether he’s interested or not, I’m going to give him some career advice and maybe save him a step or two,” said Hoffman.

Thanks to the support of donors, UIS currently offers approximately 630 institutional scholarships worth more than $636,000. Students may apply for the scholarships on the Financial Aid website.

Scholarships are one of the top goals of Reaching Stellar: The Campaign for the University of Illinois Springfield, which is currently underway.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

UIS Student Union wins excellence in design award from the American Institute of Architects

The University of Illinois Springfield’s new Student Union building was honored with an excellence in design award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) during the Prairie Chapter Design Meeting and Awards Program in Bloomington, Illinois on Nov. 1, 2018.

The building was designed by Workshop Architects of Milwaukee, Wisconsin & Dewberry of Peoria, Illinois to LEED® Gold guidelines, with sustainable features which include a green roof, energy efficient lighting, rainwater reclamation system and radiant flooring in select areas.

The two-story, 50,000-square-foot student union anchors the campus’s south quad, providing campus dining services, a Starbucks coffee shop, a ballroom with seating for up to 450 people and a Student Leadership Center that houses student government, volunteer offices and workspaces for student organizations.

Since the building’s opening in January 2018, the Student Union has helped to energize campus life, creating a vibrant social environment in the heart of campus.

In evaluating the Student Union’s design, the nationally-renowned design jury commented, “The project offers a modern, fresh and spacious interactive space. The proposed program with flexible work spaces and overlapped activities seems very appropriate as a social catalyst for students on campus. The goals of the project are noble, to create a central place for what’s otherwise a commuter campus. I think they have done a great job. The building is a striking, inviting sculptural form. Its plan is well organized and the volumes within the building – for student government and the Starbucks pavilion, are nicely scaled and inviting.”

According to AIA, projects were judged by measuring the architect’s performance against each project’s potential and not against other projects. Decisions were based upon the overall excellence of design in various categories.

For more information on the 2018 Prairie Chapter Design Awards, visit

Thursday, November 01, 2018

UIS students collect 18,095 pounds of food to help fight hunger on Halloween night

More than 200 University of Illinois Springfield students helped to collect 18,095 pounds of food to help fight hunger in central Illinois on Halloween night. The majority of the food, 17,171 pounds, will be donated to the Central Illinois Foodbank, while 924 pounds will go to the on campus UIS Cares Food Pantry.

A total of 16 teams, consisting of 262 students, went door-to-door in several Springfield neighborhoods collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food items.

Last week, the teams canvassed the neighborhoods and distributed door hangers that explained the project. Collected items were returned and weighed on campus. Prizes were awarded to the teams that collected the most food.

Students in the Tri-Sigma Sorority collected 3,032 pounds of food in the Westwood Forum and Mill Creek subdivisions. Leadership for Life Program students collected 2,070 pounds of food in the Country Club Estates subdivision.

For a third year, the UIS Cox Children’s Center participated in the fun by having the children in costume Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods at on campus departments. The children collected 924 pounds of food for the UIS Cares Food Pantry.

The Central Illinois Foodbank, established in 1982, distributes 9 million pounds of food annually to over 160 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21 county region.

The UIS Cares Food Pantry, located in the Student Affairs Building, was started in 2016 as a way to help students with food insecurity on campus.

For more information, or if you have food that was not collected, please contact the UIS Volunteer Center at 217/206-7716 or