Pritzker Administration Increases Scholarship Funding for Students | New

(WSIL) – More low-income students are now eligible for college scholarships.

As part of the Pritzker administration’s signature commitment to make college more affordable for Illinois students, Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly added $122 million in funding to the monetary awards program ( MAP) for fiscal year (FY) 23.

This brings total funding for this state grant for low-income students to an all-time high of approximately $601 million.

Each year, the commissioners of the board of directors Illinois Student Aid Commission (ISAC) approve a framework for the distribution of MAP scholarships to eligible students (the MAP Eligibility Formula), taking into account the amount of funding available and tuition and fees, balancing a meaningful grant size with the goal of serving more students.

In FY22, the program was able to offer scholarships to virtually all eligible students who applied through the end of the academic year, leaving no one on a waiting list for the first time in 20 years.

With the new MAP eligibility formula approved by the ISAC Board of Trustees last week, it is estimated that the additional funding for FY23 will allow ISAC to award scholarships to virtually all eligible students. , while significantly increasing the amount of the scholarship.

“I came into office with a promise to increase MAP grants by 50% in my first term, and with this budget, we have delivered on that promise – with a year to spare,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “In the past year alone, no student has waited for a scholarship for the first time in 20 years. And this year, more students will receive more support to participate in more programs than ever before. I am incredibly proud of this progress and will continue to fight to make education more accessible to all of our learners.

“A person’s dreams should not be put off because they cannot afford college. During my office tour of state colleges and universities, I I’ve heard of students who had to put their education on hold because they couldn’t make ends meet after tuition and all school expenses,” said Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. “Illinois is investing more than $600 million in MAP grants and increasing scholarship amounts to bring us closer to our goal of having MAP cover 50% of public university tuition as we bridge the gap when we invest in the future of students.”

Due to two decades of limited funding, MAP grants have not kept pace with the growth in tuition and fees. With the additional $122 million, ISAC commissioners have approved a framework that will increase the average PPS grant by approximately 30%.

These improvements will result in an increase in WFP’s purchasing power, a key element of A Prosperous Illinois, the new strategic plan of the State for higher education. The strategic plan set a target for MAP to cover 50% of tuition and fees for beneficiaries attending public institutions over the next 10 years.

The MAP eligibility formula recently approved by ISAC, with the support of supplemental funding, goes a long way in moving the state toward this goal and exceeds the goal of community colleges.

The highest MAP grant at a community college will now cover 55% of Illinois community college tuition and average fees, and the highest MAP grant at a public university will now cover 42% of tuition and average fees. average fees at public universities in the state.

More students will also be eligible for the MAP. The Governor’s signing of new legislation extending eligibility to students at public institutions in short-term certificate programs for credit of less than one year could increase the number of students receiving MAP by approximately 15,000 recipients. .

“Over 50 years of experience supporting low-income students with MAP scholarships has demonstrated that the program improves equity and helps ensure that more of our students can get to college and go there”, said ISAC Executive Director Eric Zarnikow. “We are grateful to Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly and to all who have tirelessly advocated for MAP, including our sister agencies, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Illinois Community College Board ( ICCB), our partner higher education institutions, students, and other supporters. The additional funding and approved new formula will provide even more Illinois students with the opportunities they need and deserve.

“Adding short degree eligibility for community colleges is transformational,” said ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham. “This will significantly increase access to financial aid for community college students seeking short-term certificates in important areas including welding, transportation, distribution and logistics, and medical technicians. emergency, among 2,000 other eligible programs. These extra dollars will help strengthen Illinois’ workforce and empower students to find meaningful careers here in Illinois. »

“The MAP grant is critical to closing the equity gaps that have historically negatively impacted students of color, students from low-income households, students from rural communities, and working adults,” said Ginger Ostro, executive director of the IBHE. “Increasing MAP grants and expanding eligibility will help meet the needs of Illinois residents on their journey to economic empowerment, whether their path is vocational training, an associate’s degree, or a baccalaureate.”

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