SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is fighting to expand higher education prospects by breaking down economic barriers to academic achievement with a new law launching the Illinois Higher Education Saving Program.
“Our children should have the opportunity to explore higher education without taking on a lifetime of debt,” Connor said. “College tuition is very expensive, and with no easy way for parents to save, college is available only to wealthy few. If we make a college education achievable for more college-ready children, it improves the Illinois economy with a more educated workforce so Illinois can compete nationally. It’s a simple proposition – more higher education is better for the whole state. We have to provide a tool for working-class families to be able to introduce their children to the countless possibilities that an education beyond high school can bring.”
Connor passed House Bill 2237 to establish the Illinois Higher Education Saving Program. This program will facilitate saving for college for all children born after December 31, 2020 by opening an omnibus account to hold all contributions to higher education savings, all interest earned on those contributions and $50 in seed money for each participating child. All children born to parents who are residents of Illinois are eligible for the program. The bill was signed into law at the end of August.
“Making sure that kids with the drive and desire to attend college can do so is the first and biggest step towards building a stronger Illinois,” Connor said. “Higher education opens the door to good-paying jobs and economic security, and study after study shows us more education makes people happier, healthier, and more law-abiding. No kid should grow up deprived of this option, and helping families save toward this goal helps the whole state.”