October 21, 2021 at 2:45pm
Dane Lisser

"Our goal is to be a resource for this community."

Millikin University Dean of Admission & Financial Aid Stacey Hubbard joined NowDecatur.com's Byers & Co. on Oct. 20 to share insight into Millikin's Macon Promise initiative.

Millikin's Macon Promise initiative offers a reduced annual undergraduate tuition rate of $26,000 for up to four years of study at Millikin. Students are able to receive additional scholarships and aid from Millikin University based on their application for admission to Millikin and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Those who are eligible include any student who lives in Macon County, students who previously attended or currently attend a Macon County high school and students transferring from Richland Community College.

"Our goal is to be a resource for this community. We want the students down the street to feel like they can attend Millikin University and to give them a discounted rate, and they could attend Millikin very economically," Hubbard said.

Hubbard noted that the Macon Promise tuition rate is locked in. "If we have to increase tuition then you are still locked in at the same rate for the four years you are at Millikin, and on top of that, you can earn merit scholarships that are put towards that."

Hubbard and her family have a shared Big Blue history. Her husband, Steve, is a 1994 Millikin graduate, and their daughter, Alexa Hamilton, graduated in 2014.

That shared history of Millikin has taken a step forward with Stacey returning to campus for a leadership position in the division of enrollment. She graduated from Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill., began work on her master's degree at the University of Illinois-Springfield, and then worked for the Illinois Students Assistance Commission shortly after.

Hubbard has worked at the state and federal level in financial aid, for the University of Illinois, for a student lender, all in the Springfield/Decatur/Champaign area. In 2004, she worked for Millikin in the bursar office when it was transitioning into a "one-stop shop" of student financial services. She helped with that change and was dean of admission for Millikin until 2014, when she took a break to work in consulting for a while.

Now back at Millikin, part of Hubbard's essential duties include finding and recruiting students.

"When James Millikin founded the institution, he had a vision for the practicality of learning inside the theoretical and that is exactly what we are today," Hubbard said. "You can experience anything on campus. It's a diverse campus and our students get practical learning skills. We have a Performance Learning ethos that runs across every major on campus … students are performing their area of interest immediately, whether it's on stage or in an office or in a classroom."

Hubbard added, "We prepare students for success all the way around."