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Linda Holmes Illinois Senator

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Senator Holmes Opts Out of State Scholarship Program

09 2013

It’s evident that the abuse within the scholarship program outweighs the good.” State Senator Linda Holmes

AURORA, IL – The state’s Legislative Tuition Waiver Program will no longer be offered to students in State Senator Linda Holmes’ (D-Aurora) district as she has decided to opt out of the highly scrutinized program.

“After taking a step back and looking at the pros and cons, it’s evident that the abuse within the scholarship program outweighs the good,” Senator Holmes said. “The program has made college possible for many hard-working and worthy students in my district, but significant reforms must be made immediately before I can continue with it.”

The legislative scholarship program allows members of the General Assembly to send students of their districts to the state’s public universities at a discounted rate. Under the program, legislators can award up to 16 semesters free (i.e. eight one-year waivers, four two-year waivers, or two four-year waivers each year).

The program has recently been criticized during Illinois’ difficult budget crisis because of its estimated $14 million cost to universities, who are left to pick up the tab. In addition to the excessive cost to universities, Holmes decided to stop offering the tuition waivers because of the abuse that has been exposed.

“We have tried to reform the program in the past, but our efforts haven’t been effective enough. We need to take a serious look at what – if anything – can be done to reform the program, or abolish it completely,” Senator Holmes added.

With her announcement, Holmes joins the ranks of nearly 80 other legislators, from both sides of the aisle, who have opted out of the tuition waiver program.

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