Jacobs grants 8 tuition waivers before program ends


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Originally Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2012, 5:26 pm
Last Updated: Sept. 24, 2012, 5:30 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, used his full allotment of tuition waivers in 2012 before the controversial scholarship program ended in September.

Sen. Jacobs voted in May to kill the program, which some lawmakers had used to reward the children of supporters, and had been plagued by allegations of wrongdoing.

He awarded the full eight one-year scholarships allowable before the program ended on Sept. 1. Two of the students had also gotten one-year scholarships from Sen. Jacobs in 2011.

Sen. Jacobs said he voted to get rid of the program because he thought it needed to be reformed.

But he added that there was "no shortage of outstanding students" in his district that needed help with college costs, and he had no regrets about awarding waivers to them.

"This represented my last chance to do this, and I would do it again," he said.

The scholarship program had been tainted by "a few rotten legislators" who had misused it, Sen. Jacobs said, but locally had helped a lot of good students.

Lawmakers were allowed through the scholarship program to award two four-year waivers to public universities annually. The universities had to cover the cost of educating the students.

Sen Jacobs, like many other lawmakers, chose to break up the scholarships and award eight one-year waivers annually.

State Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, stopped awarding scholarships in 2009, while State Rep. Rich Morthland, R-Cordova, never participated in the program.

A Chicago Tribune investigation that analyzed lawmaker-awarded waivers since 2001 found at least 75 lawmakers had awarded scholarships to children of political donors.

Who got waivers in 2012:
Zachery Andrew, East Moline, Western Illinois University
Brittany Carton, Rock Island, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Matthew Hofer, Sherrard, Northern Illinois University
Broderick Hoerner, Aledo, Western Illinois University
Claire Wallace, Moline, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Briana Grymonprez, Port Byron, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Lauren Hughes, Moline, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
Zachery Hungate, Colona, Southern Illinois University
-Ms. Hughes and Ms. Hungate also received one-year scholarships in 2011.
Source: Illinois State Board of Education














 




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