SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign), accompanied by Anthony Fiorentino, a student from the University of Illinois College of Law; the Illinois Student Assistance Commission; and other elected officials will begin his college affordability tour Oct. 2.
The hearing is from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday in Room 104 of the Illini Union at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Frerichs will be available 15 minutes before the start of the hearing for media availability.
"The cost of tuition alone is high enough. When we start adding the cost of housing, textbooks and living expenses students either end up with years of debt or lost opportunities," Frerichs said. "At the same time, many of our universities and community colleges are working hard to find creative ways to contain costs, even as they receive less state funding."
In response to the increasing costs of student loan interest, Fiorentino contacted Frerichs, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, about hosting a series of hearings on student debt and college affordability in Illinois.
"Student debt has become one of the biggest drags on the national economy and has created an unsustainable financial burden for too many Illinoisans," Fiorentino said. "We're really glad to see that legislators like Senator Frerichs are exploring the causes and effects of the student debt crisis and what we can do about it."
Frerichs will host seven hearings at colleges throughout the state: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Chicago State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, SIU Edwardsville, Northeastern Illinois University, College of DuPage and Lincoln Land Community College. Students and representatives from universities and community colleges will be given the opportunity to give testimony as well as hear about state services and programs offered by ISAC to make college more affordable.
"I look forward to having these conversations and learning the best ways to ensure everyone is given the same opportunities. No one should be discouraged from attending one of our state's universities or community colleges due to financial need," Frerichs said.