UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) -- Fundraising is behind for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, but the dean says the school is financially stable. 32 students will start class in the fall.
Everitt Laboratory is one of the buildings the college will use. It, and the Medical Science Building, are being renovated.
Dean Dr. King Li says it's part of cost-cutting measures for the first engineering-based medical school in the world.
"Carle Health System has committed a $100 million for the first ten years. In addition to that, we have raised an additional, about $20 million, so, for a new school, that's actually a very good start."
This fall the Carle Illinois College of Medicine opens its doors.
"We'll have our first class here starting in July of 2018."
Dr. Li says, despite being behind on fundraising, the college is progressing.
"We're the first college to actually integrate engineering principles in teaching medicine throughout the entire medical education."
After the announcement, leaders started to look for ways to cut costs. One is using two existing campus buildings.
"We actually benefited from buildings that we can renovate. The existing Medical Science Building will be renovated to be the main site for education for our students."
Dr. Li also says, from the time the agreement was made until now, some of the figures have decreased.
"The operating cost is actually lower than what was projected because, instead of the older model where we have to hire a lot of full-time faculty from the outside, we're actually leveraging across the university."
Fundraising will continue for the college. The hope is one day it will pay for students to not have to worry about the cost.
"We want to give scholarships to our students, to as many as possible, so that our students will be free in the future to pursue their dreams without being burdened with a large student loan."
Admission packets are being sent out this week. The first 32 students are getting a free ride.
Additional fundraising could be used for several purposes including research projects, student scholarships and to send students to work all over the world.