SPRINGFIELD -- Two state lawmakers propose a plan to add another of Illinois' state colleges to the Big Ten.
Republican Sens. Matt Murphy and Michael Connelly's plan 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 public Big Ten state school. Northwestern University is also a Big Ten member.
Murphy says the U of I 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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