college afford 102020JOLIET – In light of hardships imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and an ongoing call from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to address structural racism at all levels, Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) and Senate Education Chair Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) will convene another joint hearing of their respective committees Wednesday to address college affordability and the possibility of expanding college access through free tuition.

“Thirty years ago, Illinois ranked #1 in the U.S. for post-secondary access, affordability and attainment of certificates and degrees, but now we’re far from that,” McGuire said. “This hurts all students, especially those of color. Wednesday’s hearing will search for answers.”

The hearing is part of an ongoing effort by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus to gather information as it forms a legislative agenda for the upcoming fall session in Springfield that aims to reform longstanding racial inequities. Besides education, the Black Caucus has also prompted discussions on health care, economic and financial access, and criminal justice reform.


WHO: Members of the Illinois Senate Higher Education and Education Committees

WHAT: A joint Education/Higher Education committee hearing to address college affordability

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 21 at noon

WHERE: A virtual meeting. The meeting is accessible through the Illinois General Assembly website here: The link will become active at noon. The meeting can also be viewed via the Blue Room Stream subscription service.