Illinois Bill to Bar Students at For-Profits from State Financial Aid

Illinois Bill to Bar Students at For-Profits from State Financial Aid

February 14, 2013

Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose, a Mahomet Republican, introduced a bill this week that would prohibit students enrolled at for-profit colleges from receiving grants under the state's need-based Monetary Award Program, reports The News-Gazette.

The program, which provides financial aid to low-income college students, has faced challenges in recent years. With increasing demand, rising tuition rates, and an uncertain state budget outlook, the program only covered half of the students who qualified for grants last year.

In the 2011-12 academic year, the state awarded roughly $411 million in those grants; about 6 percent of that total, or $24 million, went to help pay students' tuition at for-profit institutions. 

That's money that could be going to help pay the tuition of lower-income students attending the University of Illinois, Parkland College or Millikin University, said Rose.

"We're behind in general payments to the schools. Any way you look at it, (directing money to for-profits) is clearly unjustifiable at this time," he continued. "It's padding the balance sheet of these for-profit entities and their stockholders," he said.

A spokesman for the state's Student Assistance Commission, which oversees the aid program, said the agency had not yet seen the bill and therefore had no position on it. However, he did add: "Generally we support student choice."


Related Links:

The News-Gazette

Michelle Cormier Mott

State Relations