Illinois: Saving Money by Cutting Off the For-Profit Schools

Last month College Guide wrote about the efforts going on in many states to regulate the way for-profit colleges do business. It looks like Illinois is next.

According to an article by Tom Kacich in the News-Gazette:

The biggest reduction in the House higher education spending plan would come with the elimination of $25 million in MAP tuition assistance to students attending schools such as DeVry University and the Culinary Institute of Chicago. Students attending some Illinois proprietary schools have been eligible for tuition assistance since 1998, according to Katharine Gricevich of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

“I find it appalling that the commission would allocate $25 million to for-profit entities in the state of Illinois in the first place when we can’t pay school districts,” sad Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet.

It’s not specifically an effort to reform proprietary colleges so much as just a way to try and save precious state resources.

By preventing for-profit colleges from taking advantage of the Monetary Award Program (MAP), a need-based state grant, Illinois will be able to reduce appropriations for higher education from $2.157 billion (spent last year) to $2.089 billion.

Gricevich pointed out, however, that as a result of this change some 8,000 Illinois students planning to attend for-profit colleges will not have aid for next year.

One state legislator, Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, said (perhaps facetiously) that for-profit colleges could consider offering their own grants to make up the difference.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer