villanueva 042221CHICAGO – To protect first-generation college students and families from predatory business practices, a new plan offered by State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) that creates transparency and fairer guidelines for educational planning services was signed into law on Monday.

“This measure reels in bad actors that prey on low-income and first-generation students,” Villanueva said. “Families must have options to get out of deceptive, long-term contracts when these services are offered by the state free of charge.”


The new law requires educational planning service providers to disclose that similar services may be available at no charge from the state, allow consumers to choose which services they wish to receive and allow consumers to cancel services at any time. Consumers will also receive a full refund for services not yet provided under the law.


First-generation college students and students from families with limited English proficiency are often targeted by educational planning service providers. These providers use high-pressure sales tactics to lock parents into expensive, long-term contracts only to find that the assistance provided is inadequate or could have been received at no charge through the state or other entities.

The Attorney General and State’s Attorneys will enforce the legislation by bringing civil action in accordance with the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and by voiding contracts that violate the proposed legislation. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) would also be empowered to seek additional penalties for violators.

Senate Bill 1085 is effective immediately.