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A bill to help Illinois community college students save money just needs Gov. Pritzker's signature

This bill aims to guarantee community college credits will transfer to any Illinois public university.

MOLINE, Ill. — As the school year wraps up, many Illinois community college students will be finishing up their programs and looking to transfer to a 4-year university. 

Andre Builta, an inspiring musician and sophomore at Black Hawk College, says picking a community college was an easy choice. 

"For one, it's a lot cheaper," Builta said. "I was also homeschooled so I didn't have much school experience, but here I didn't feel judged and that helped create an amazing experience." 

Under current Illinois law, schools can decide whether or not to accept credits towards majors or electives. If accepted as electives, students find themselves retaking classes to meet their university's requirements. 

Black Hawk College's Dean of Liberal Arts John Castree says it can be a difficult process for students.

"As an academic advisor, having to sit down with my students, we go through information that often isn't in their favor," Castree said. "We have students losing credits in the transfer process and it leads to them staying in school longer, spending more money. It's always a difficult conversation."

Back in February, Senate Bill 2288 was introduced to the state of Illinois. The bill aims to help Illinois community college students by assuring class credits related to their major will be transferable to all public colleges and universities in the state. 

"If you take a class as a major level, it will count as a major level at any 4-year public institution in Illinois," Castree said. "I think ultimately it helps 4-year universities and it'll be nice to see 2-year schools work alongside them to ensure transferring students do well at their next journey." 

The bill has been passed by the state house and senate. Once signed by Governor JB Pritzker, it will go into effect next year. 

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