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Illinois Wesleyan University is increasing scholarship funding that it will guarantee to students from McLean County.
Starting in fall 2020, the university plans to boost its McLean County scholarship to $120,000 over four years for each student from McLean County who lives on campus. That's up from $108,000 and covers approximately half the cost of an education at IWU.
University President Georgia Nugent said the 11% increase in the scholarship package outpaces the increased cost of tuition. The cost to attend IWU rose nearly 4% from the 2018-19 academic year to 2019-20.
IWU raised $1.1 million over the last two years to support the scholarship, which it unveiled in 2018.
“They are ahead of their schedule even, so (we) felt that this was a time when we could sweeten that pot even more,” Nugent said, referring to the group of community and business leaders and IWU alumni which launched a four-year, $2 million campaign last year to fund the scholarship.
“The success that we have generated in these early years will certainly help us to sustain it in the future,” Nugent said.
Nugent said the scholarship helps put IWU in the cost range of many public schools.
“When you factor in the kind of financial aid that comes from Illinois Wesleyan or a college like us, we are actually much closer to state tuitions than most families realize because we give so much more financial aid than the public (universities) are able to give,” Nugent said.
IWU saw 42 McLean County residents enroll this fall. The marks a 56% increase over 2017.
“I am extremely pleased, though not at all surprised, that the leaders of this community have invested so generously in our local students,” assistant vice president for advancement Carlo Robustelli said. “Illinois Wesleyan is fortunate to be located in such a supportive place with such impressive students, and we hope to do our part by providing McLean County students with ladders of opportunity and a transformative experience right in their backyards.”