Colleges Left With Veterans Program Costs

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By Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, IL (AP) - A state program that guarantees college tuition for Illinois veterans has provided less and less money in recent years. That leaves public universities and community colleges to pick up the tab, which is expected to top $32 million this year. 

The Illinois Veteran Grant started in 1967. It's considered an entitlement. That means that if the General Assembly doesn't appropriate money for it, the schools have to cover the cost.

According to The News-Gazette, the legislature in 2013 and 2014 provided no money. The state is wrestling with a budget deficit.

Tim Wendt is director of financial aid and veterans services at Parkland College in Champaign. He says the school will spend $600,000 this year on Veterans Grant funding.

The University of Illinois spent $3.1 million last year.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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