Gov. Pritzker signs bill to make college more affordable with more federal aid access

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Gov. J. B. Pritzker takes in the applause before signing a bill that legalizes adult-use cannabis in the state of Illinois at Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center in Chicago. Illinois becomes the 11th to legalize the adult-use of recreational marijuana. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)

DECATUR, Ill. – Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill designed to make college more affordable for students with a new law to increase FAFSA completion in high schools.

Pritzker said this law will give thousands more Illinois students access to federal aid.

“We want to be the kind of state that makes college affordable so our brightest minds can stay right here in Illinois,” said Pritzker. “Beginning in the fall of 2020, this law will help give students the freedom to choose the pathway that’s best for them – not the path they’re forced down because nobody gave them the information to explore their options.”

Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, high school students will complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or an alternative state form created by Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) as a part of their requirements for graduation. Students with extenuating circumstances may complete a waiver to opt out of the program.

“My administration will do everything in our power to make college an option for any student who wants that opportunity,” he said.

Increased completion rates will ensure more federal dollars are allocated toward Illinois students. Currently, Pritzker said, 59% of Illinois students complete the FASFA application which ranks the state 9th in FASFA completion.

House Bill 2719 takes effect on January 1, 2020.

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