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ELGIN – As college application season kicks off, State Senator Cristina Castro is encouraging students and their families to take advantage of several state and federal relief opportunities related to financial aid, student loans and college affordability.

“Students and their families deserve to be informed and given resources to make higher education as accessible as possible,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “As the cost of college continues to rise, I am hopeful this relief will support students facing economic hardship and those with limited access to resources.”

Under the federal plan for one-time student loan forgiveness announced recently by the president, students who received Federal Pell Grants can have up to $20,000 in debt forgiven and students with non-Pell Grant loans can have up to $10,000 in debt forgiven if their individual income is less than $125,000. The application is available at and must be completed by Dec. 31, 2023.

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Castro encourages financial institutions to get involved in Bank On Illinois initiativeELGIN – To highlight the ongoing success of community and financial organization partnerships, State Senator Cristina Castro is encouraging credit unions, community organizations, service groups and other financial institutions committed to improving the financial stability of Illinois residents to join the Bank On Illinois coalition.

“Middle class families in Illinois have suffered from the ill effects of crippling bank fees for long enough,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “I’m proud to have sponsored and fought for the passage of legislation that gives working families in Illinois some peace of mind, and I’m glad to see it working to financially empower residents across our state.”

The Bank On Illinois initiative, passed in 2019, established a commission to monitor banking practices across the state to ensure that people in Illinois have access to bank accounts that offer fair financial service options, including no maintenance fees, low or no minimum deposit requirements, low or no overdraft fees, and methods to open accounts using forms of identification other than the traditional driver’s license or state ID card.

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elgin business district ResizedELGIN – To foster economic growth and ensure area residents and businesses are supported in their recovery from the pandemic, Elgin and Kane County will see more than $180,000 in relief grants thanks to the support of State Senator Cristina Castro.

Through the Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery (RISE) program, Elgin and Kane County will see grants to help local governments and economic development organizations develop and create plans to foster relationships with business.

“Funding local economic development organizations helps ensure that families and businesses alike will benefit from this investment,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “These grant funds empower our communities to address the pandemic’s impact on local economies and direct their own economic recovery.”

The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin will receive $39,620 in RISE Grants to bolster its economic recovery plan, with a focus on Elgin’s Downtown Central Corridor. Kane County is set to receive $150,000 to support and study impacts on industry, mental health and broadband access.

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Category: News

 Castro receives legislative award for work expanding access to adult educationWASHINGTON, D.C. – State Senator Cristina Castro’s support for adult education is being recognized with a 2022 Legislative Champion Award from the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE). The Coalition announced the award this week as part of its efforts to raise awareness leading up to national Adult Education and Family Literacy Week which begins Sept. 19.

Senator Castro has sponsored legislation in the Illinois Senate to help erase the stigma of a high school equivalency diploma versus a high school diploma and to reduce the cost of GED® exams for adult learners, both essential to adult education programs in Illinois.

“I am proud of the achievements we’ve accomplished here in Illinois to support education and lifelong learning,” said Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “I am honored to receive this designation and look forward to continuing this work to ensure that adult learners and educators are supported and thrive in their communities.”

“I applaud Senator Cristina Castro, recipient of the Legislative Champion Award, for her outstanding contributions and support of adult education,” said Sharon Bonney, CEO of COABE.

For more information about the Coalition on Adult Basic Education, Adult Education and Family Literacy Week and the Legislative Champion Awardees, visit

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Contact Info

District Office:
The Professional Building
164 Division Street, Suite #102
Elgin, IL 60120
847-214-8864 phone
847-214-8867 facsimile

Springfield Office:
121-C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone


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