The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

UI responds to Prepare for Illinois’ Future Program

Illinois is the first state to offer fully funded universal tests and licensure preparation classes to public university undergraduate students in the newly passed Prepare for Illinois’ Future Program. The program entails that Illinois public universities’ undergraduate students will have free access to necessary resources to assist them in their preparation for graduate school admission tests and professional licensure.

On Nov. 7, La Shawn Ford, Illinois state representative and chair of the Illinois Higher House Appropriations Committee, announced that the Prepare for Illinois’ Future Program will warrant $10 million of the state of Illinois’ budget.

The funding of the program was passed with the intention of providing free test preparation classes for the MCAT, the LSAT, the GRE and the GMAT in the 2024 fiscal year.

In addition to the graduate school admission tests, the Prepare for Illinois’ Future Program will include free preparation assistance for professional licensure preparation in nursing, teaching, real estate and securities professional exams. 

The legislation was passed in May 2023 but will be implemented in January 2024.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Rep. Ford said he has been collaborating regularly with officials from the Office of Management and Budget, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the Chief Procurement Office to implement the program. Ford expects the state will soon officially issue a request for proposal. The budget will take effect on July 1 of the fiscal year, but Ford stated in a press release that “Illinois universities tell me they are ready to implement the program in January.”

    “This program will save Illinois public university students hundreds of thousands of dollars and improve their chances to apply and attend professional and graduate school, and ultimately increase the talent and workforce pipelines critical to the State of Illinois,” Ford announced.

    University students have expressed their opinions and insight on financial inequalities regarding the graduate admissions process and how the Prepare for Illinois’ Future Program will help students intending to apply to graduate schools in the future.

    “I don’t think it is fair that such a big financial burden is placed on students because they are discouraged from applying to grad school, especially if they take longer to achieve a certain score on their MCAT as a result of the lack of access to initial studying resources,” said Sufiya Shazia, junior in LAS.

    University students continue to voice their opinions on the newly passed legislation, which they view as potentially helpful for many students.

    “I believe this could really help students a lot because one of the biggest factors when it comes to studying for these exams is money and the cost of resources that you have to use to obtain a good score,” said Alisha Babu, junior in LAS.

     

    [email protected]

    More to Discover
    ILLordle: Play now