(CBS) — Northern Illinois University has approved a measure that officials say will make tuition more affordable for students across the country.

Beginning with the fall 2018 semester, both in-state and out-of-state students at Northern Illinois University will pay the same tuition rate.

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It’s being done at several other state universities, and Vice President of Enrollment Management Sol Jensen said it’s time NIU made the change.

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“We feel like this can be a great move for the city, the community and the state,” Jensen said. “We are losing, as a state, our workforce. There’s research available that has demonstrated that students are much more likely to work in the state where they graduate.”

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Jensen said the change, approved by the NIU Board of Trustees on Monday, comes as many high school seniors are applying to colleges. It’s estimated that NIU undergraduates from outside Illinois pay double the in-state tuition rate.