* Bullet points…
* ProPublica Illinois…
Dozens of suburban Chicago families, perhaps many more, have been exploiting a legal loophole to win their children need-based college financial aid and scholarships they would not otherwise receive, court records and interviews show. […]
Parents are giving 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 allows the students to declare themselves financially independent of their families so they can qualify for federal, state and university aid, a ProPublica Illinois investigation found.
“It’s a scam,” said Andy Borst, director of undergraduate admissions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Wealthy families are manipulating the financial aid process to be eligible for financial aid they would not be otherwise eligible for. They are taking away opportunities from families that really need it.” […]
ProPublica Illinois found more than 40 guardianship cases fitting this profile filed between January 2018 and June 2019 in the Chicago suburbs of Lake County alone. The parents involved in these cases include lawyers, a doctor and an assistant schools superintendent, as well as insurance and real estate agents. A number of the children are high-achieving scholars, athletes and musicians who attend or have been accepted to a range of universities, from large public institutions, including the University of Wisconsin, the University of Missouri and Indiana University, to smaller private colleges.
Go read the rest. Sheesh. And keep in mind that the money for the state’s need-based MAP grants is never enough to cover all applicants. So, these kids could be taking grant money away from students who actually deserve it.