Financial aid scheme could lead to new laws

Local News

CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — New regulations for guardianship in Illinois may be on the way after families schemed their way to extra financial aid.

Lawmakers met today in Chicago to talk about the cases found at the University of Illinois. Families are legally giving up guardianship of their children based on recommendations from college consultants. That way, students can get more money from FAFSA and the University.

The University said they found the first case of this in May of 2018. The school can take away the money they’re giving to those students, but they can’t do anything about the federal money.

Suggestions made for moving forward include having educational consultants be certified and allowing the University to take away federal aid.

When reached for comment, the University of Illinois provided these prepared remarks from their representatives attending the hearing:

We believe that the majority of guardianship cases are legitimate and that we are on the lookout for the ones meant specifically to game the financial aid system.

We are confident that these new steps and reviews will let us detect these situations quickly and will ensure that our institutional need-based financial aid will not go to families who are using the state courts to become eligible for financial support that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.

We believe that there are some state and federal actions that can help ensure this class is the last one in our state to take advantage of this unfair and unethical strategy that deprives others of opportunities and educational experiences that can change the course of their lives.

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