Financial Aid
A student fills out a college enrollment application at Roosevelt High School in Washington.
Susan Walsh/AP

Parents Trading Custody For Financial Aid; Sen. Tom Cullerton Indictment; Will It Play In Peoria?

More than forty well-off families in the Chicago suburbs got extra financial aid from the University of Illinois by strategically giving up custody of their kids, sometimes months before their child turned 18. Plus, Illinois State Senator Tom Cullerton has been charged by federal prosecutors. He’s accused of being on a union payroll for hundreds of thousands of dollars, even though he did almost no work for them. And you’ve likely heard the phrase “Will it play in Peoria?”. But its meaning has evolved over the years to adapt to the city’s surprising history. 

Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on April 25, 2014.
Sean Powers/Illinois Public Media

‘It’s Just Wrong’: U of I Takes Action To Prevent Wealthy Families From Accessing Need-Based Financial Aid

University of Illinois officials say they will take extra steps to vet financial aid applications from students involved in guardianship cases. The decision comes after university officials identified 14 instances in which parents had a student put under the guardianship of a friend or relative, so they could qualify for more financial aid. 

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