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Higher Education Loan Task Force

Updated: Thursday, May 15 2014, 10:56 AM CDT

ILLINOIS -- A plan to provide interest-free student loans is progressing. But it won't be passed this session.

A proposal put forward called "Pay It Forward" would provide 0% interest loans to in-state students at Illinois colleges, universities and community colleges.

But the bill's sponsor in the Senate, Champaign Democrat Mike Frerichs, said members of the state's higher education community are worried about how to fund the program at first.

So instead of passing the plan, lawmakers are pushing forward a committee to find a solution to how to pay for it.

"College affordability is a real issue for our state, and it's a drag on our economy. We have student debt in this country now exceeding $1 trillion higher than credit card debt, and it's clear we have to do something."

As it stands now, the bill would look at a different style plan, one that would provide zero interest loans to students.

Frerichs says that's not set in stone, though, and any other recommendations the task force comes up with would be taking under advisement. Frerichs says the whole idea is to create a self-sustaining fund so it won't just be the state subsidizing tuition costs.

Higher Education Loan Task Force


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