Lawmakers want another Illinois college in Big Ten

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Two state lawmakers are proposing a plan to have another of Illinois' state colleges designated a Big Ten school.

The legislation is sponsored by Republican Sens. Matt Murphy and Michael Connelly. It would study the feasibility of having another of the state's nine public universities join the conference that also includes Penn State, the University of Michigan and Purdue University.

It passed a Senate Higher Education committee this week and now heads to the chamber floor.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is currently the state's only Big Ten state school.

Murphy says the university has become so competitive that Illinois students with good grades and test scores often see their applications declined, causing them to travel to other Big Ten schools out of state.

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The legislation is SB3526.