SPRINGFIELD, ILÂ â€“ Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon praised members of the Senate for their adoption of House Joint Resolution 33, following its unanimous passage this morning in the Senate Education committee. The resolution urges all colleges and universities in the state to prominently feature a link to federal College Scorecard information on the schoolâ€™s website and work together to design and publish an Illinois College Scorecard with data that supplements the federal data.
â€œA college credential is a prerequisite for in-demand jobs in our economy, but college affordability is a barrier for many students,â€ said Simon, the stateâ€™s point person on education reform. â€œMaking it easier for college-seeking students to access the federal College Scorecard means vital information â€“ like average cost and completion rates â€“ is readily available to help students find a college or university that fits their needs and their budget. I thank Sen. Lightford and Rep. Jakobsson for sponsoring this resolution and for their leadership on education issues.â€
In her first two years in office, Simon visited each of the stateâ€™s 48 community colleges and 12 public universities. Students at each campus identified affordability as a major barrier to their college success. The College Scorecards clearly identify average costs, graduation rates, loan default rates, and areas where students can better estimate costs based on their personal goals.
â€œChoosing the right college or university is a big decision, and it is important that students and their families have access to information that will enable them to evaluate schools,â€ Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) said. â€œThe College Scorecard will make it easier for students to compare important college and university information that will help them pick a school that best meets their needs.â€
HJR 33 not only encourages degree and certificate-granting institutions in Illinois to link to the federal College Scorecard, but also to work together across institutions to design and publish an Illinois College Scorecard with data that supplements the federal data. Simon intends to create a working group this summer to design the Illinois version.
â€œHaving this information readily available is important to students and families across the state as they plan to pursue higher education,â€ said Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-Urbana). â€œAs we work to boost college completion rates, it is important that students have the resources they need to make the best decision to achieve their dreams.â€
The resolution was adopted last week in the House. The federal college scorecard can be found here.