TC5.21.15SPRINGFIELD- Illinois may soon join 14 other states in making college more affordable for students.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed an initiative that requires public universities and community colleges to give students who score a 3 or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams college credit.

“The cost of tuition continues to grow, and when we add the cost of housing, textbooks and living expenses, students either end up with years of debt or lost opportunities. This is one small step we can take to make college more affordable,” said Cullerton. “No one should be discouraged from attending one of our state’s public universities or community colleges due to financial need.”

AP classes improve access, affordability and on-time graduations. If high school students take enough advanced courses they can possibly graduate a semester or year earlier which results in thousands of dollars in savings and less student debt.

This legislation will clear up any inconsistent policies at public universities and community colleges, as well as make Illinois competitive with neighboring states that already accept a score of 3 or higher.    

 “We can’t blame students who go out of state to schools in Indiana, Wisconsin and Kentucky who have this policy. However, we can’t afford to lose our best and brightest to these schools,” said Cullerton. “This legislation will allow us to compete to keep these students home.”

House Bill 3428 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.