State politicians have focused on using tax credits to keep companies in Illinois. House Republicans want to use that tactic to keep students here too.
When Illinois' high school seniors graduate, Representative Wayne Rosenthal is concerned that they're increasingly crossing the border for public universities in Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.
He doesn't buy the possibility that they're just looking to expand their horizons.
Rosenthal, R-Litchfield, says he thinks it's about cost.
"Illinois residents can actually go to those out of state schools cheaper than they can go to some of our college here in state. That's some of the things that we want to offset," said Rosenthal.
Republicans propose Illinois offer a $1000 tax credit to tuition-paying families with adjusted incomes of $150,000 or less. Another idea would give an upfront tax deduction for contributing to privately-run prepaid college tuition funds, known as 529s.
Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.