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The Lincoln Hall Project « College of Liberal Arts & Sciences « University of Illinois

Lincoln Hall Project

Why Scholarships

The right to rise” was a philosophy embraced by Abraham Lincoln. At its core is the belief that talent resides at all income levels. It is this legacy we honor through the Lincoln Hall Fund for Scholarships.

Since 1911, Lincoln Hall has been a symbol of the University, a home to the liberal arts and sciences, and a gateway for students pursuing a world-class education. Yet only a short while ago, the fate of this magnificent building was unsure. Time had moved on and left this campus cornerstone in desperate need of repair.

With funds from the state, those repairs are finally taking place. Thanks to an ambitious multi-year renovation, we will preserve a landmark named for a president who served in war yet saw the role of education in creating a world at peace.

Now, with your help, we will match the bricks and mortar of this spectacular renovation with the scholarships required to complete the educational mission for which it is being lovingly restored.

Together we will transform a memorial to the many achievements of one into a building celebrating the singular achievements of many, at a University unlike any place else in the world.

How the Scholarships Will Be Awarded

  • All gifts to the Lincoln Hall Fund for Scholarships will be placed in a collegewide scholarship fund for which all incoming students will be eligible.
  • Scholarships will be awarded based on a family's unmet financial need in conjunction with merit.

What Your Gift Will Achieve

  • You will help keep a U of I education within reach for students from all income levels and continue to attract the brightest to Illinois.
  • You will encourage LAS students because they will know you are invested in their success and that you believe their efforts should be recognized.


Facts about Funding


As the value of an Illinois degree has increased over the years, so has its cost.

  • Because of private support, the college is able to award $240,000 each year in scholarships, but unmet financial need alone is a staggering $26 million a year.
  • Tuition covers less than half of the true cost of educating an undergraduate student.
  • State support has declined from 44.5 percent of operating costs in 1980 to less than 18 percent today.
  • In 2010, for the first time in the University’s history, tuition contributed a larger percentage to the University budget than did the state.

Read more about the connection between scholarships and accessibility in public higher education: “The Widening Gap: Who gets left out when tuition rises?”