URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The first class of students to be accepted to the University of Illinois' new medical school will receive about $200,000 worth of free tuition.
The Carle Illinois College of Medicine has received approval to begin recruiting its first class of 32 students for the fall of 2018, The News-Gazette reported. Each student will receive full four-year scholarships funded by donors.
Dr. King Li, the medical school's dean, said the school has already raised enough funding to cover 15 scholarships.
The scholarships will be used to lure students, in part because the school will collect applications later than other medical schools, said Li.
He said the preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education is a major milestone for the school's development. Li said more than 600 students have already applied.
"This is probably the most important hurdle," Li said. "It is a very rigorous process. Being given preliminary accreditation essentially is the stamp of approval that our infrastructure and our curriculum measures up to the most rigorous standards of medical education."
The school won't get provisional accreditation until its first class reaches the second year. Full accreditation would be given when the inaugural class is in its final year.
"It's just so exciting," Li said. "Now, we are finally at the phase where we get to see student applications. It feels like it's happening, rather than waiting for things to happen."