October 12, 2012
By James Long
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -
Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will host College Affordability Summits in Carbondale, Normal, Macomb and Edwardsville in the coming week.
The Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Affordability Summit is at 1:15 p.m. on Monday, October 15 at Trueblood Dining Hall on 1175 S. Washington Street.
Simon is expected to call on state, federal and higher education leaders to increase transparency, target state aid and support a federal tax credit for middle class families in order to make college affordable for Illinois students.
According to Simon, the average costs for a public university education have outpaced family incomes and available aid, increasing 128 percent since 1980 when adjusted for inflation.
"Our state has set a goal to increase the proportion of working-age adults to 60 percent, from 41 percent, by 2025. The only way we can achieve this goal is if college is affordable," said Simon, a former Southern Illinois University law professor. "We must work together to rein in costs of a higher education."
According to a news release, Simon supports legislation for College Choice Reports, a standardized report for all degree-granting institutions that would help students analyze cost, debt and graduation rates across institutions. Simon also serves on the state's MAP Eligibility Task Force, which is reviewing ways to better target the need-based assistance to students. A task force report is due to the General Assembly January 1, 2013.
The College Affordability Summits are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 15 at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; Thursday, Oct. 18 at Illinois State University and Western Illinois University; and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville on Friday, Oct. 19. Additional dates and locations will follow.