Publication Date



This memo estimates the main economic benefits of tuition-free college in Illinois. These economic benefits are compared with the costs of making tuition free. In addition, we consider possible fiscal benefits of tuition-free college and whether these fiscal benefits for Illinois will offset the fiscal costs of making tuition free. This memo is based on cost estimates presented to the State of Illinois in an August 2020 memo entitled “Estimated Cost of Tuition-Free College in Illinois” and should be considered in conjunction with that memo.

Issue Date

April 2021


Upjohn project #34324


The Joyce Foundation

Subject Areas

EDUCATION; Postsecondary education; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; Promise scholarships




Bartik, Timothy J., Michelle Miller-Adams, Brian Pittelko, and Bridget F. Timmeney. 2021. "Economic Benefits and Costs of Tuition-Free College in Illinois." Prepared for The Joyce Foundation and the Illinois Governor's Office.