Scholarships

Illinois Holds College Financial Aid Workshops

Feb 2, 2014
Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Illinois governor Pat Quinn has announced free workshops across the state for college students and their parents to get advice on acquiring financial aid. The workshops will be conducted throughout February, which is Financial Aid Awareness Month.

Experts with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission will help families understand and complete the commonly-used FAFSA, or Free Application for Student Aid.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois lawmakers have agreed to give up their much-criticized perk of being able to hand out college scholarships.

The century-old custom has been under fire because some legislators awarded the scholarships to the children of friends and political insiders. Sometimes they ignored the rule requiring recipients to live in the legislator's district.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois Senate has agreed to end the practice of letting lawmakers hand out free college educations to their constituents.

For years, the Senate had been the last roadblock in efforts to end the program. Thursday's Senate vote makes it likely the Illinois House and governor will quickly take the final steps in getting rid of the tuition waivers.

The measure passed 43-5, with five senators voting "present."

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Committee shuffling has kept measures to end controversial Illinois legislative scholarships from coming to a vote.

Republican leader Sen. Christine Radogno says she's disappointed it was moved to a subcommittee Wednesday and didn't get a vote. Two similar measures have been sitting in the committee since February.

The program allows lawmakers to hand out university tuition waivers to students in their district. It drew criticism after revelations that some legislators awarded waivers to family members, political allies' children or students outside their district.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Some Republicans at odds with Nixon over state's job-creation tax breaks

Some Republican lawmakers are at odds with members of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration over whether Missouri's job-creation tax breaks have been a success or failure. During a House committee hearing Monday, figures showed a wide gap between the number of jobs anticipated and those actually created by businesses approved for aid under the Missouri Quality Jobs program. 

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Reporting from Rachel Otwell of WUIS used in this report.

More legislators are refusing to participate in Illinois' controversial General Assembly scholarship program. It's a program that allows legislators to give students living in their districts tuition waivers to for state-run universities.

Many lawmakers promise they hold little to no sway in the decision process of who wins a waiver.

But others are accused of ensuring the scholarships go to relatives or campaign supporters, making the program one more example of Illinois policy gone corrupt.

(via Google Maps screen capture)

A private school in the city of St. Louis is offering a full ride to the child of a police or firefighter in the city.

City Academy's director of development, Ginger Imster, says school officials decided to offer the one-year scholarship after listening to testimony at a special legislative hearing on education held at the North City school earlier this year.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

An aide to Michael Madigan says the House speaker will block Gov. Pat Quinn's attempt to end the controversial legislative scholarship program.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn says he plans to make the elimination of state-university scholarships that legislators now give away a high priority in the legislative session that start late this month.

Quinn in August used his amendatory veto power to compel lawmakers to make a decision about the legislative perk.

During an event at the University of Illinois on Friday, Quinn said legislative leaders from both parties should push their members to end the scholarships.

The scholarships have long been a source of ethical and sometimes legal concern.

St. Louis Public Radio

Peabody Coal, ArcelorMittal to buy Australian coal giant

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Australian coal giant Macarthur Coal has agreed to be bought by Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal for $5.2 billion. St. Louis-based Peabody has pursued Macarthur for more than a year.

The Australian company is the biggest miner of pulverized coal, which is used in making steel and in great demand in Asia.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to use his veto power to end the long practice of Illinois lawmakers handing out college scholarships.

Quinn vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have imposed mild restrictions on the program. He returned it to lawmakers with new language that would halt the scholarships entirely.

Now it's up to the General Assembly to decide whether to accept this proposal or keep waiving tuition for select students.