Absent pension crisis, Illinois could afford free college for all

Adam Schuster: IL Policy Institute

The Annie Frey Show
December 13, 2019 - 12:51 pm

(KFTK) – Illinois Policy Institute's Adam Schuster joins Annie. Illinois Policy discovered that if the state had a healthy pension system, they could possibly afford “free” college if it didn’t have a pension crisis.

Adam Schuster’s analysis:
• Illinois could give each of the 122,439 undergraduate students enrolled in public universities nearly $70k a year if it spent the same 4% of its budget on pensions as it did throughout the 90s, rather than the 25% it does today.
• At the University of Illinois, the state's priciest public university, tuition, room and board, books and other expenses for in-state students cost a total of $36,394 – meaning pension savings would allow the state to provide students with double their needs.
• The state currently provides an average of $3,030 per student. Of the state's 750,000 undergrad, grad and community college students, about 130,000 of them share a total of $392.5 million.


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