URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to freeze in-state tuition for freshmen for the first time in more than 20 years, officials said Monday.

A board committee planned to review the proposal on Monday, and their recommendation is scheduled to go to the full board on Jan. 15.

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If approved, the base tuition for in-state freshmen next fall would be the same as for the current school year: $12,036 a year in Urbana-Champaign, $10,584 at the Chicago campus and $9,405 in Springfield. The rate would remain unchanged for four years by law, though student fees and housing costs could increase.

Base tuition would increase by 2 percent for non-Illinois residents.

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University officials said holding the line on tuition will help middle-class Illinois students whose family incomes are not low enough to qualify for federal or state financial aid, but not high enough to cover costs on their own. They said the last time there was no tuition increase was the 1993-94 academic year.

University officials also said they hope to hold future tuition increases to the rate of inflation or lower, although that depends on state funding and other factors.

“Student affordability is a top priority and we are committed to ensuring that costs are not a barrier to the lifelong opportunities that are provided by an education at the University of Illinois,” President Robert Easter said in a written statement.

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