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Lt. Governor to talk about college affordability during SIUE visit 

Belleville News-Democrat
October 18, 2012

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon will host a College Affordability Summit at 10 a.m. Friday at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to call on state, federal and university leaders to keep college cost down.

Simon will meet and job shadow students who rely on work study and financial aid as part of a series of College Affordability Summits at each of the state's public universities this fall.

The average cost for a public university education has outpaced family incomes and available aid, increasing 128 percent since 1980 when adjusted for inflation, which left students with an average of $26,682 in student loans in 2010.

With cooperation from state, federal and higher education leaders, Simon said he believes increased transparency, targeted state aid and a permanent federal tax credit for middle class families would make college more affordable for Illinois students.

Simon is a former Southern Illinois University law professor and a member of the state's Monetary Award Program Eligibility Task Force.