Roskam Introduces “Truth-in-Tuition” Bill

With a child in college, Congressman Peter Roskam has introduced a bill to let students and parents know what the cost of college might be.  His and Congressman Matt Cartwright’s press release follows:

Roskam, Cartwright Introduce Truth-In-Tuition Act To Take Guesswork Out of College Education Costs

WASHINGTON— Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced H.R. 2020, the bipartisan Truth-In-Tuition Act, which requires universities and colleges to provide a four-year price model for students and parents so they can plan for the ever-increasing costs of higher education:

Peter Roskam

Peter Roskam

“The staggering and unpredictable costs of a college education makes it difficult for many Americans to realize the dream of a higher education.

“Too many students end up dropping out of a four-year institution because the financial burden becomes too great.

“For those that graduate with college loans, many enter the workforce with massive debt that can take decades to pay off,” said Roskam.

“We must take the mystery out of the cost of higher education. For the colleges and universities that rely on federal dollars, it is only reasonable that Congress demand these institutions provide transparency for the students and families that pay tuition.”

“Skyrocketing tuition is inhibiting college access and placing families and students in heavy debt. While the increases alone are daunting, the unpredictability of the rate hikes creates an added strain on families,” said Cartwright.

“Without having the full picture of college costs, students and their families are forced to take on more student loan debt than they originally anticipated.

“The total outstanding student loan debt in the United States has surpassed the $1 trillion mark. It has outpaced credit card debt, auto debt, and is second only to mortgage debt.”

The Truth-In-Tuition Act will require private and public universities and colleges to give every student a clear picture of what their degree will cost by using a pricing model, taking the guesswork out of how much and when payments are due throughout their education.

There are many successful examples of this bill being implemented in states across the country.

In Illinois, public universities and colleges are required to provide a financial roadmap – a bill Congressman Roskam supported as a State Senator in 2003.

Ultimately, this bill will help create a clear path forward for students so that unforeseen costs don’t inhibit their ability to achieve their higher education goals.

The escalating cost of higher education has been a serious deterrent to students’ ability to afford college.

In just a decade, from 2002-2012, tuition at public four-year universities and colleges have increased by 66 percent beyond the rate of inflation.

In that same time period, tuition at private universities and colleges have increased by 27 percent beyond the rate of inflation.


Roskam Introduces “Truth-in-Tuition” Bill — 7 Comments

  1. Should be a fairly short essay IMO, and it’ll go somethign like this:

    “Dear students and parents,

    The reason you tuition bill is higher than last year is because the state of Illinois is broke.

    We, politicians, only value education when it is of direct value to our offspring.

    As a result, we continue to cut funding to all those seeking knowledge and we hope you will consider taking your hard earned higher education dollars out of state.

    Because of our efforts, you (the people who are seeking to climb the social ladder) will need to work harder and more often to pay for your student’s education.

    In the meantime, if I can be of further service, please contact me at my local country club. Have a nice day.


    Springfield Politicians”

  2. Devlin, your comment ring true and especially from someone who was lucky enough to be born in a “Socialistic Northern European Country” where the different political entities see the value an educated citizenry enough to provide free education for promising individuals through college.

    We should actually be shamed of ourselves for allowing money to be a deciding factor for a higher education and thus affecting the future of this country.

  3. There’s a large percentage of kids that can’t even do 5th grade math by the time they graduate high school.

    Just ask Jack Roeser about that one, he gave applicants at Otto Industries a 6th grade math test, if they couldn’t pass it, he would try the 5th grade math test.

    That’s quite a bit of remedial level math to just get up to college standards, much less graduate college.

    As far as college costs.

    Have you checked out the salaries of public higher education employees?

    Search by Employer: All Higher Ed Employees

    Search by Salary Range: Start Value: $100,000

    6,764 records.

    It would take some research to determine which colleges and Universities were included in “all higher ed employees.”

  4. Still on
    Typo above it’s not

    More about college and university wages over $100,000 at public colleges and universities.

    City Colleges of Chicago (Dawson Technical Institute, Harold Washington College, Harry S Truman College, Kennedy-King College, Malcolm X College,
    Olive-Harvey College, Richard J. Daley College, Wilbur Wright College).
    117 records $100,000 or above.

    Chicago State University.
    46 records $100,000 or above.

    Governors State University.
    68 records $100,000 or above.

    It would take some work to determine a meaningful statistic to represent what percentage of total employees from are $100,000 or above because records include wages as low as $8.50 (yes that’s $8.50 for an entire year).

  5. More about Illinois public college and university wages over $100,000.

    Select, “State College and University.”

    Sort by Annual Wages.

    View results

    About 50,0000 records from 1999 – 2011.

    That’s not 50,000 different people because obviously any given individual typically worked more than one year.

    That averages to 4,545 employees per year earning over $100,000 but is skewed because earnings increase over the years.

    The results from were 6,764 employees earning over $100,000 in a recent year.

    So there’s a few data points. lists the colleges and universities in the results.

    I’m assuming all the following colleges are in the OpenTheBooksresults, as skimming the results for each college would take quite awhile.

    The names you don’t recognize are likely community colleges.
    Black Hawk College, Carl Sandburg College, City Colleges of Chicago, College of DuPage, College of Lake County, Danville College, Eastern Illinois University, Elgin Community College, Frontier Community College, Governors State University, Harper Community College, Heartland Community College, Highland College, Illinois Central College, Illinois Eastern Community College, Illinois State University, Illinois Valley Community College, John A Logan College, John Wood Community College,
    Joliet Junior College, Kankakee Community College, Kaskaskia Community College (Clinton County), Kishwaukee Community College, Lake Land College, Lewis and Clark Community College, Lincoln Land College,
    Lincoln Trail College, McHenry County College, Moraine Valley Community College, Morton College, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Oakton Community College, Olney Central College, Parkland College, Prairie State College, Rend Lake College, Richland Community College, Rock Valley College, Sauk Valley College, Shawnee Community College, South Suburban Community College, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, Southwestern Illinois College, Spoon River College, Triton Community College, University of Illinois – Chicago, University of Illinois – Springfield University of Illinois – Urbana, Wabash Valley College, Waubonsee Community College, Western Illinois University, and William Rainey Harper College.

    That’s 54 public colleges in Illinois if I counted correctly.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if I missed a few.

    Lots of construction projects for the public sector unions and the State of Illinois Capital Development Board.

    Lots of bonds.

    Lots of taxes.

    Lots of payroll.

    Lots of benefits.

    Lots of pensions.

    Pensions that were increased through pension benefit increase legislation, a practice that escalated after the shall not diminish or impair pension clause was added to the Illinois State Constitution in 1970.
    Which basically said pension benefits can be increased an unlimited amount, but if the pension benefits were not properly funded or become unaffordable, they can’t be decreased.

    What a great constitutional amendment that was for the taxpayers.

    The pension superhighway.

    38 of 40 years pension benefits and retiree healthcare benefits were increased from 1971 – 2011.

    Can’t imagine why college is unaffordable.

    I wonder what percentage retirees receiving a state pension (TRS, SERS, SURS, GARS, JRS) will earn more in
    retirement than when they worked?

  6. Here are some more Illinois public University salaries over $100,000 from the Daily Illini, which is the U of I student newspaper.
    Some salaries for the 2012-2013 year.

    $1,600,000 for University of Illinios Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Head Football Coach, Tim Beckman.

    $1,400,000 for UIUC Head Basketball Coach, John Groce.

    $805,863 for University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Medicine Professor Joe G N Garcia.

    $714,000 for UIC Administration Dean Dimitri T Azar.

    $695,950 for UIC Cancer Biology & Pharmacology Professor Jasti Sambasiva Rao.

    $650,000 for UIC Physician Surgeon in Physician Support, Pier Cristoforo Giulianotti.

    $571,326 for UIC Physician Surgeon in Anesthesiology, David Eric Schwartz.

    $571,201 for UIC Professor in Surgery, Enrico Benedetti.

    $525,000 for UIC Physician Surgeon in Medicine, Patricia W Finn.

    $512,500 for UIUC Vice President and Chancellor, Phyllis M Wise.

    That rounds up the top 10.

    When will they be eligible for retirement?

    Note SURS has a few different plans, I chose the Traditional Membership Benefit Guide.

    If you first began participation prior to January 1, 2011, you are eligible to receive a retirement annuity when you satisfy any of the following:
    • You are at least age 55 and have 8 or more years of Illinois service (benefits will be reduced for early retirement if you retire between ages 55 and 60);*
    • You are at least age 62 and have 5 or more years of service; or *
    • At any age when you achieve 30 years of service, provided your covered employment terminated on or after August 2, 2002.

    How about the starting pension?

    In general, multiple years of service x .022 (accrual rate), but the maximum result is .80.

    Multiply that number (maximum .80) x average of last 4 years income = starting pension.


    3% compounded annually.

    When comparing salaries for the same individual, for the same year, amongst Daily Illini,, and, you will sometimes notice discrepancies.
    Sometimes a discrepancy could arise because one source is presenting pensionable earnings, whereas another source is presenting base wages.
    There can be other reasons as well.

  7. Quoting from above.

    “In just a decade, from 2002-2012, tuition at public four-year universities and colleges have increased by 66 percent beyond the rate of inflation.

    In that same time period, tuition at private universities and colleges have increased by 27 percent beyond the rate of inflation.”

    I wonder how that correlates to public vs private public schools, preschool through 12th grade?

    The cost per pupil is more difficult to pin down in pre-k through 12th grade public schools, because once must factor in the State of Illinois pension contribution, which I don’t believe is included in the per pupil costs listed on the district report cards.

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