Monetary Award Program to Receive Approximately $479 Million in Funding; Overall Higher Education Funding Remains Stable

SPRINGFIELD— Today, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), and Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) praised the Illinois FY 2022 budget which includes $2.484 billion for colleges, universities, and direct student support. The budget also allocates additional dollars for tuition assistance and workforce programs which give students from all backgrounds the ability to achieve their educational goals.

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Building on Gov. Pritzker’s equity goals, the budget includes an increase of $28 million for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), bringing total funding for the grant program for low-income students to approximately $479 million.

“Students are truly the focus of this budget. Direct support for low-income students, along with funding for A Thriving Illinois: Higher Education Paths to Equity, Sustainability, and Growth, the new higher education strategic plan, demonstrate Gov. Pritzker’s ongoing commitment to serving students who for too long have been underserved by the postsecondary education system,” said Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Ginger Ostro. “We saw equity gaps exacerbated during the pandemic and higher education is central to closing those gaps. With the investments in this budget and the launch of A Thriving Illinois, we can focus on creating broader and more equitable paths to opportunity for all Illinoisans, especially those facing the greatest barriers.”

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“We are grateful to Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly for the commitment to access and equity reflected in this budget,” said Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) Executive Director Eric Zarnikow. “With MAP at a historic high, we can increase grant size to help our low-income students manage the rising costs of college and reach new students as well. The budget also begins to address the shortfall for the College Illinois!® Prepaid Tuition Program with the first two of a proposed series of manageable payments -- which will save the state money in the long run as it honors its commitment to families whose students will attend college using program benefits.”

Funding for community colleges and public universities will be held level in FY22, recognizing the importance of higher education, particularly as students and families in Illinois and across the nation continue to face financial struggles as a result of the pandemic.

“This new budget maintains Illinois’ baseline investment in community colleges while also providing significant support in federal relief dollars. This critical funding will help students recover from the impact of the pandemic more quickly by providing a path forward for job training leading to better employment opportunities and helping Illinois to meet its immediate and future workforce needs,”said ICCB Executive Director Brian Durham.

Higher education highlights of the FY 22 budget include:

• $28m increase for MAP, bringing funding for the program to a historic level of approximately $479m
• Funding for College Illinois! (allocated as funding $30m in FY21 and $20m in FY22)
• $1M for implementation of the Common App, which will allow students to apply to any Illinois public university with a single application
• Flat funding for all other scholarship/grant programs, operations and outreach, however $7 million in federal funding will provide significantly increased support for the Golden Apple Scholars and Golden Apple Accelerators programs for teachers in training
• $10 million State Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Fund (CURE) for college bridge programs

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