Gov. Pat Quinn is touting another part of his budget proposal—increased funding to help low-income students attend college. Quinn is calling for a $50 million increase for the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP), with the long-term goal of doubling the state’s investment in the next five years. During a visit to DePaul University, Quinn said that assistance is an alternative for those who don’t want to take out high-interest student loans.
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“And for some, that prohibits them from even starting college because they simply can’t afford it,” Quinn said. “So affordability of higher education, whether it’s here at a private university or at a public university like NIU and U of I, or whether it’s at a community college.”
The typical MAP grant is between $2,000 and $5,000 per student. With the increase Quinn is proposing this year, he estimates that 21,000 more students will be able to go to college. The campaign of Quinn’s Republican challenger in the governor’s race, Bruce Rauner, bashed Quinn for signing budgets that cut MAP funding in 2010 and 2013.
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