college affordability

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Illinois students will get a hint about how they scored on the PARCC test — the standardized test based on the Common Core — when statewide results are announced tomorrow. State officials have warned that scores will be lower than with previous tests. But U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says it’s time for an honest assessment.

University of Illinois Public Affairs

Illinois’ popular truth-in-tuition law was designed to keep college affordable. Since 2003, parents have banked on Illinois’ popular truth-in-tuition law that guarantees their kids’ tuition rate will remain stable for at least four years.

James Applegate, director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, says that allows families to plan their finances, making the state’s public universities an attractive option. 

But think about it: 


For the first time in two decades, the University of Illinois plans to hold basic tuition rates steady for the upcoming school term. But that proposal, adopted by the U. of I. budget committee on January 5, comes with a caveat.


Chris Farrell headshot

Marketplace Economics Editor and Business Week columnist Chris Farrell says the aging of the population is the biggest economic and personal finance challenge ahead.  Speaking with WUIS Executive Editor Bill Wheelhouse, Farrell says people can expect to work longer in the years ahead.

  A plan that could lead to Illinois changing its student loan repayment programs is moving through the General Assembly. The new method would let students pay back loans based on their income, instead of a set schedule.

The model is a European one, often used in the U.K. and Australia, says sponsor Jack Franks (D-Marengo). Franks says he wants to prevent college grads from being shackled to large debt payments.

Currently, students have to begin making steady payment shortly after they graduate, whether or not they've found a job, and regardless of how much that job pays.

Walter Wendler appreciates society’s changing attitudes about its responsibility for higher education. As a scholar, Wendler, who also is chancellor of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, enjoys the nuances of this evolution. He’s intimate with the details of the federal Morrill Act of 1862, which marked the first federal aid aimed at institutions of higher learning. The land grant act, as it’s called, conveyed to the states parcels for developing colleges of agriculture.

Ashley Hustava is candid. A decision about where she attends college may come down to cost.

The senior at Springfield’s Southeast High School has been accepted at four schools. Now she’s waiting to find out what financial aid and scholarships are available. Her family started putting money away for her education when she was little, but it’s still not enough.