Presidents from three of Illinois’ public universities testified in front of an Illinois Senate appropriations committee on their budgets for 2014. The common theme was how to keep tuition affordable for the students. Illinois State University president Al Bowman says they are working hard to keep the costs down. “Beginning in 2004, we started putting money into what we call a MAP supplemental program. It supplements the students from that lowest income quartile,” Bowman said.
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Robert Easter, president of the University of Illinois, is proposing the state fund his school $743.8 million. Easter said the school has had to raise tuition because of a decrease in state funds and increasing enrollment. “There are associated cost with (more students) that need to be offset. So it’s not necessarily a net gain, “Easter said. Southern Illinois University president Glenn Poshard said Illinois is really two states, and his institution’s job is to bridge the gap. “It is the mission of our university to stand in this gap of both prosperity and achievement,” Poshard said.