SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — College Illinois – a program aiming to give parents a chance to pay today’s tuition rates for their children to attend college later – is taking a break from accepting new participants.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports, John Samuels, spokesman for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, says a new report shows College Illinois should hit the pause button on new applications.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports

“The agency just received a new financial soundness report, which shows that the financial condition of the fund is comparable to its condition for the last year,” Samuels said. “But in light of that, and the fact that we do not have new pricing, we’ve elected to temporarily suspend contract sales.”

Samuels explained what a financial soundness report is.

“It’s very similar to how a pension fund looks at it. The actuarial assumption is that if there were no contract sales ever again, then what is the actuarial soundness that the plan would be able to meet a certain percentage of its obligations,” Samuels said.

The commission has given Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly recommendations to improve the program.

More information is available at the College Illinois Web site.

College Illinois has been criticized for slow sales, an investment strategy that has been deemed too risky, and a shortfall amounting to nearly $300 million, according to past published reports.

Over the summer, Quinn overhauled the board for College Illinois and named five new members.

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