Lt. Gov. looks to lower college costs

Published 10/23 2012 04:00PM

Updated 10/23 2012 05:51PM

Update: 3:58 pm, 10/23/12, Tuesday
SPRINGFIELD -- College grads are facing higher student loan debt than ever before. So, they're now fighting for more financial aid.

Students around the state are asking leaders to help keep college affordable. Some are backing the idea.

It all goes hand-in-hand with Lt. Governor Sheila Simon's push to get 60% of Illinois' adults a college degree over the next decade. But, she says it can't happen unless tuition costs go down and more financial aid dollars are made available.

The problem is the cost to get a degree is starting to outpace how much people earn once they graduate. Not only are costs increasing, but some students also have to stay in school longer. Some say they're worried if nothing changes; no one will be able to afford an education.

An average college graduate leaves school with nearly $30,00 in loans. That's more than double what students paid 20-years ago.

Research shows nearly 80% of adults think college isn't worth the cost, that's why state leaders are calling for a plan to fix it with more map grants and tax credits to offset costs. No word how that would be paid for.

Select students at all state schools are voicing their concerns. Wednesday is the UI's turn.
Original: 10:22 pm, 10/22/12, Monday
ILLINOIS -- The cost of college can put a big dent in your pocket book. One state leader is trying to make earning a degree more affordable.

Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is hosting a College Affordability Summit at 12:30 pm Tuesday, at UIS. Students can learn how federal work-study and state grants can cover costs.

In 2010, the average student loan was more than $26,000. That's up more than 120% since 1980. Simon hopes lowering the cost of a degree, means it's more affordable for more people.

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