More college students in Illinois may graduate with less or no debt in coming years, if state lawmakers can dream up a way to pay for that. A measure is making its way through the Statehouse that would form a group to study how to form a state-sponsored student loan program. State Sen. Michael W. Frerichs (D-Champaign) is sponsoring the plan.
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He says the idea is to mimic what some other states have done, such as in Oregon where the Pay it Forward plan offers local students a chance to attend state schools free, with part of their income going back to the state later.
Now, Frerichs says funding is the major hurdle. “We have this real question of resources, and so what we’re going to do is study this and have a good plan in place before we move further forward,” he said. Frerichs says current grant and loan programs in the state aren’t enough to support an adequately educated workforce.