Illinois lawmakers have agreed to give up their much-criticized perk of being able to hand out waivers for tuition at state colleges. The century-old custom has been under fire because some legislators awarded the scholarships to the children of friends and political insiders. Representative Fred Crespo, a Democrat from suburban Hoffman Estates, says the waiver program is outdated:
"A hundred years ago when this program was first put in place it probably made a lot of sense, you had a selected few who can actually attend college and can afford it. That's not the case anymore. We have more state colleges, we have MAP grants, we have a lot of other financial aid that these students can use."
The General Assembly scholarship program has come under heavy scrutiny after instances of legislators ignoring a rule that requires recipients live in their district. The measure eliminating the scholarships passed in the Illinois House Monday. It had passed the Senate earlier, so it now goes to Governor Pat Quinn. The Chicago Democrat says he plans to sign it.
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