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As of September 1, 2012, Illinois' legislative tuition waiver program has been eliminated. Senator Connelly knows that as higher education costs steadily increase, more and more students and families are looking for ways to tackle the costly burden of college tuition, fees, and room-and-board.

Experts suggest the best way to prepare for the costs of higher education is to talk honestly about these obligations and plan ahead. Students or parents seeking information on financial aid, scholarships, grants, prepaid tuition, and loans are encouraged to visit the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s College Zone Web site at www.isac.org.

On these sites, students and parents can learn more about:

Colleges and universities across the country

Creating a college payment plan

Financial aid options

The Bright Start education savings plan

Information about loan repayment and federal help

Information about scholarships

    College Zone – Lists grants available to assist Illinois residents looking to attend a higher education institution. Grants are available for Illinois National Guard members, veterans, police and fire officers, among many others.

    Illinois Center for Nursing – Details grant and scholarship opportunities for students pursuing nursing education.