tuition waiver

Employees at the University of Illinois Urbana campus are pushing back against a proposal to eliminate a 50 percent tuition discount for their children.

They are getting some help from State Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, who says the nearly $10 million dollars that would be saved annually by ending the tuition waivers wouldn’t be worth the damage it would do to state universities and their employees.

At a news conference on the Urbana campus, office worker Molly McLaughlin said the tuition waiver is one reason she decided to work at the U of I.

Illinois legislators will hold a hearing today on a proposal to eliminate a benefit for state university employees.

The children of those workers can receive a 50 percent tuition waiver at any state school. Employees must work at a university seven years before they’re eligible.

State Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, says the program could be used as a bargaining chip to avoid other proposed cuts involving higher education.

Children of public university employees may see their tuition waivers taken away if an Illinois lawmaker's proposal is approved.

Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, says it costs the schools about $10 million a year to offer half-price tuition to employees’ children.

"I see the state of Illinois pretty much on a lifeboat,” Franks said, “and we're sinking and we can't afford to do everything. I wish we could, but this is not the time that we can continue to have these type of perks."

State of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are losing a century-old political perquisite -- the ability to award college scholarships. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation this morning to end the practice after one last round of awards this summer.

"Instead of scholarships going to those who truly deserve them and who were qualified for scholarships to go to college,” the governor said, “too often the program was abused in a political way."