Proposed bill would increase college loan debt awareness
State Rep. Kathleen Willis introduced a bill recently that would require high schools in Illinois to invest time in explaining the high cost of college student loan debt to students.
Willis hopes curriculum developed as a result of Senate Bill 672 will better prepare students for the choices they will need to make concerning their financial futures. The new curriculum will be part of the current Consumer Education class required in Illinois high schools. New class topics also will cover protecting against identity theft and managing consumer debt.
“So many of our young people are graduating college with upwards of $20,000 to $30,000 of debt,” Willis said. “The process of handling student loans and understanding how to manage debt has become such a part of being a college graduate, and we need to educate our students and prepare them early.”
Current Consumer Education curriculum includes discussing financial literature, managing savings, creating budgets and similar topics.
“The cost of higher education has only grown throughout the years,” Willis said. “We need to make sure students are provided with the practical education needed to make sound financial decisions to leave them on better economic footing for their future.”
Willis is serving her second term as State Representative of the 77th District in the Illinois General Assembly. Her district includes parts of Addison, O’Hare Airport, Franklin Park, Bellwood, Bensenville, Melrose Park, Maywood, Wood Dale, Northlake and Stone Park.