SPRINGFIELD – Higher education leaders across the state applaud Governor JB Pritzker’s budget announcement, which includes a fiscal year 2025 higher education budget of $2.55 billion. The budget includes a $10 million increase for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), a $24.6 million increase for public universities, and a $5.9 million increase for community colleges.

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The governor’s budget builds on the historic funding of higher education over the last several years, which included the largest investment and the largest increase in higher education in two decades in fiscal year 2024’s higher education budget. Continuing to build on historic higher education investments from the last several years is key to removing barriers and ensuring all students have equitable access to higher education.

“The governor’s investments proposed in this budget build on his previous historic higher education investments and allows us to continue the progress we have made in implementing strategies to close equity gaps outlined in the state’s higher education strategic plan,” said IBHE Executive Director Ginger Ostro. “This budget will help provide more opportunities for students and make the state’s higher education system more equitable.”

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“Keeping pace with Illinois’ growing workforce needs and serving communities across the state takes commitment and continued investment, even in lean years. Increased enrollments and new cutting-edge learning opportunities are just a few of the direct results of Governor Pritzker’s unwavering commitment to higher education in Illinois and specifically the Illinois Community College System,” said Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Brian Durham.

The governor’s budget an increase of $10 million for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), bringing the total MAP appropriation to $711 million. This supports the goal of increasing funding for MAP to $1 billion within 10 years as set out in the strategic plan for higher education in 2021. From 2019 to the fiscal year 2025 additional proposed funding for MAP, the governor has championed a 77% increase in MAP. The historic increases in MAP over the last five years have made significant inroads in affordability, increasing the size and expanding the number of grants for students from low-income households statewide.

"Governor Pritzker’s unflagging commitment to improving access to higher education for all Illinois students continues to be reflected in unprecedented levels of MAP funding,” said Illinois Student Assistance Commission Executive Director Eric Zarnikow. “In FY 22 and 23 we were able to offer MAP grants to all eligible students, and we’ve also been able to increase the average size of MAP grants by 57 percent and the maximum MAP grant by 73 percent over the last five years to improve the purchasing power of MAP. A MAP appropriation at the historic high of $711 million would help us sustain the progress made over the last five years,” said Zarnikow. “We are also gratified to see that with federal funding expiring and state finances expected to be tighter, the Governor is seeking to continue to support the early childhood education teacher pipeline with state funding for ECACE scholarships. We look forward to working with our sister agencies and other stakeholders on how to most effectively use the funds to support this critical initiative.”

Highlights include:

  • $10 million increase for MAP
  • $24.6 million (2 percent) increase for public universities general operations
  • $5.9 million (2 percent) increase for community colleges
  • $940,000 (3.8 percent) increase for the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
  • $450,000 increase to expand Common App program to community college students transferring to Illinois public universities
  • $450,000 to establish, in partnership with the Illinois Community College Board, a data dashboard to track institutions’ progress toward closing equity gaps
  • $5 million for Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) scholarships
  • $50 million for the AIM HIGH program

The governor’s budget next goes to the Illinois General Assembly for consideration.

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