No accountability, no money make college grant program a mistake, Ives says
Illinois can't throw more money into the pit of college grants unless it ties a string to it, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) argued on Monday in decrying a bill that would create a grant program for students who maintain a "B" average.
“The problem with this bill overall is not the goal,” Ives said. “The goal is that we do want to send kids to school in Illinois. We want that to happen. The problem is there is zero accountability. Zero. If you are the recipients of one of these grants or … the MAP grants, there is no claw-back if you don’t finish. There is none at all.”
HB1316, sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), would require the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to provide selected full-time students at Illinois public universities or community colleges a yearly grant of up to $4,000 if they maintain a 3.0 average on a 4.0 grading scale.
Ives emphasized the lack of accountability, saying there are no provisions in the bill for ISAC to recoup its money from students who don't finish school.
“You could literally go through four years of school [and] not get a degree, and there is zero claw-back for any of this money that the taxpayers spent to get you through for an education, to a job, to be a good taxpayer [and] to live in the state of Illinois,” Ives said. “No claw-back provision. No accountability. People will continue to misuse and abuse the system going on and on. As far as graduation rate, they are very slim in some of our universities in the state of Illinois. Very slim.”
Ives concluded that the bill doesn’t address the real problem: the cost of higher education.
“All you are going to do is feed this system with tax dollars with no accountability and not even arresting the problems of the cost drivers to higher education in the state of Illinois,” Ives said. “It’s the cost. It’s the cost that is driving our students out of the state. That’s the problems we need to focus on now because there is no $300 to $400 million for this program, and the last thing the taxpayers want to do is fund a broken system that doesn’t require these students to actually complete and, if they don’t, to pay it back.”
HB1316 passed the House 65-50 and awaits Senate action.
Organizations in this Story
1725 S Naperville Rd Suite 200
Wheaton, IL - 60189