Governor Quinn Discusses Plan to Make College More Affordable and Accessible
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today visited three major Illinois universities to discuss his plan to double the state’s investment in the Monetary Award Program (MAP) over the next five years. In the first year alone, Governor Quinn’s plan will provide 21,000 more students with an opportunity to attend college that would not otherwise be available. Today’s event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure all people have access to quality education and opportunity.
“Money shouldn’t stand in the way of a deserving student and a college diploma,” Governor Quinn said. “This increase in MAP funding will make sure more Illinois students are on their way to earning a degree and joining the 21st century workforce.”
Governor Quinn first proposed doubling the state’s investment in MAP during his 2014 State of the State address and reiterated this commitment in his annual budget proposal. The state currently allocates $373 million for MAP grants, which benefit more than 140,000 students across the state. The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget calls for an increase of $50 million, which will give 21,000 more students access to grant funds. Approximately 58 percent of MAP recipients are considered to have no resources available to pay for college.
Today the Governor stopped by DePaul University in Chicago, Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb and the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. All three of the schools visited today have a large number of students who are able to attend college thanks to MAP grants. One in three of DePaul’s 16,500 undergraduate students and one in three of NIU’s 17,000 undergraduate students receive MAP grants. Approximately one in five of the U of I’s 32,000 undergraduate students receive a MAP grant.
Since taking office, Governor Quinn has fought to preserve education from radical budget cuts, and built and repaired 978 schools. In his budget address this year, Governor Quinn laid out an honest and responsible budget for the next fiscal year along with a five-year blueprint that will secure the state’s finances for the long-term, provide significant tax relief to homeowners and working families and invest like never before in education and early childhood.
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), which administers the MAP program, received a record number of eligible MAP applications through the end of February, up eight percent over the same period last year. Students can apply for MAP, Pell Grants and other forms of financial aid by completing and filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Contact ISAC at (800) 899-4722 visit isac.org for more information.