CHICAGO (WBBM) — Community college advocates are upset over a proposal to issue hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds to pay for state-funded grants to low-income college students.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Marsett reports, the bonds would be paid back by diverting the future income taxes paid by community college students who receive the grants.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Marsett Reports

Issuing the bonds is an unusual way to provide additional funding for the state’s Monetary Award Program, which annually gives qualified Illinois students attending Illinois colleges up to $5,000 each.

Despite objections from the community college board and the Illinois Community College Trustees Association, the Illinois Board of Higher Education announced it formed a group to study the proposal. Supporters hope it goes before legislators in the spring.

The Monetary Award Program is one of the most generous state-funded, need-based college grant programs in the country. But demand far exceeds supply.