Bryant: How do you judge, beyond FAFSA, who's eligible and who i - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Bryant: How do you judge, beyond FAFSA, who's eligible and who isn't?

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SPRINGFIELD (WSIL) -- Members of the Illinois General Assembly are addressing a loophole that allowed well-off families to emancipate their children so they could receive financial aid for college.

State Rep.Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) was in Thursday's meeting with the House Higher Education Appropriations Joint Committee. She warned that universities responsible for distributing student aid could risk profiling someone if they assume a student applicant is playing the system when they actually qualify.

"When we start getting into situations where human emotions, preconceived notions and prejudices enter in, we're looking at some pretty serious issues going forward," Bryant said.

Bryant said the state judiciary needs to look into how they can prevent families from scamming universities for financial aid when they receive requests for emancipation.

A report from ProPublica showed the majority of scams came from wealthier families living in the Chicago suburbs. Parents gave up legal guardianship of their children during their junior or senior year in high school to someone else — a friend, aunt, cousin or grandparent. The guardianship status then allowed the students to declare themselves financially independent of their families, and thus qualify for financial aid they would not have otherwise.

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