CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Illinois has launched a new initiative, the AIM HIGH program, which has allotted up to $1.9 million in state funding to Southern Ilinois University in Carbondale to provide scholarships for freshman and transfer students.
SIU is matching the scholarships to assist even more Illinois freshman and transfer students totaling almost $4 million.
The scholarship money will be awarded to incoming freshman and transfer students who are residents in hopes to keep those students in the state.
The Illinois General Assembly allocated $25 million, to be distributed by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, to students attending Illinois public universities beginning in fall 2019.
The goal of the academic-based award is to encourage students to stay in Illinois as they continue their academic careers.
As of the fall of 2016, more students have left Illinois for college than any other state, except that of New Jersey, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Jennifer DeHaemers said that when students go out of state for school they tend to stay there and that hopefully by offering these scholarships it will help retain students.
“If we are sending a lot of students out of state to go to universities, elsewhere, chances are they are going to remain out of state,” she said. “It’s less likely that they are going to comeback and bring their knowledge, their skills, their abilities back to the state and positively impact the state, the region, their hometown.”