Madilyn Keating Ellsworth Answers:
Typically, parents are not financially responsible for children over the age of majority or high school graduation. However, in Illinois, courts may order divorced parents to contribute to their non-minor child’s college expenses.
Such educational expenses may include: tuition and fees; books and supplies; room and board; medical expenses; and reasonable living expenses. However, the parties’ obligations are limited to the costs of tuition and room and board at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the same school year. Currently, U of I costs about $30,000-$35,000 per year.
In making an award, courts consider certain factors, including: (1) the resources of the parties and the child; (2) the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the family remained intact; and (3) the child’s academic performance.
Parents’ obligations to contribute to their children’s college expenses terminate if (1) the child turns 23; (2) the child receives an undergraduate degree; (3) the child marries; or (4) the child fails to maintain a “C” average unless good cause is shown.