Ask and ye shall receive: The Illinois House asked for an audit of the College Illinois program, and the state auditor general has delivered. In all there were 15 recommendations made by the auditor general, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which oversees College Illinois, has agreed to all of them. In fact, commission spokesman John Samuels says changes were already in the process when the audit began.
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“Changes really got under way last May when [the governor] replaced the sitting chair at the time and then in July of last year he replaced the entire commission, so all the sitting members that had been on the commission during the time of this report, 2006-2011, were replaced at that time,” Samuels said. The audit found that the payroll for the College Illinois program tripled from 2006 to 2011. Also the cost of operating the program has risen over the last six years. Program costs rose from $6.4 million in Fiscal Year 2006 to $18.1 million in Fiscal Year 2011. “The costs of running the program have gone up and that is something that the board needs to get a handle on and determine how they’re gonna cover those costs,” said Auditor General William G. Holland. ISAC agrees with all the findings and Samuels says they are working on fixing them. College Illinois is currently closed to new enrollees but Samuels says they will likely re-open the program to new enrollment, although there is no official timeframe.