The Illinois House has approved a plan to study alternative ways for people to pay for college.
The "Pay it Forward" plan calls on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to consider programs other states have adopted to address the rising cost of a college education.
Such programs allow attendance at community colleges or state universities tuition-free as long as the student signs a contract to repay the state from a portion of future earnings.
The measure sponsored by Marengo Democratic Rep. Jack Franks won approval 111-0 and moves to the Senate.
Franks says the current situation -- a choice between assuming a large debt for college costs or limiting future earning potential because of a lack of a degree -- harms the economy.