Gov. Pritzker makes stop at SIU to tout his $100M increase in state’s MAP grants

Illinois college students will see a financial boost thanks to more grant money coming in the state’s new budget.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 5:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 5:22 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Illinois college students will see a financial boost thanks to more grant money coming in the state’s new budget.

The MAP grant program will get an extra $100 million. These grants help students cover tuition and fees.

Lawmakers say they hope it will make community colleges and public universities more affordable. According to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, the MAP grant program now sits at $701 million. In 2019, the program sat at $401 million.

Southern Illinois University junior Hannah Woolard is a radiological science major. She said this will help her program become more affordable.

”My program requires many extra expenses, including scrubs and embroidery, lab fees, gas to and from clinicals, textbooks and more,” said Woolard.

The investments in education that are in the Governor Pritzker’s budget will help students like Hannah.

Chancellor Austin Lane said this increase in funding will allow the university to recruit more students.

“When we’re out on that trail, you just made it a lot easier for us to be able to talk about the increase in MAP grants, and the increase in AIM High,” said Lane. “So thank you again so much for that, that helps our recruiters, it helps administrators as they’re talking to potential students and it’s going to be a game changer.”

According to the governor, SIU saw a 7 percent increase for its freshman class in the last school year, the largest in the past six years.

The record level of MAP funding in this budget is a work in progress, but Governor Pritzker said it’s helping more and more students get access to college.

“Young people are telling me that they otherwise wouldn’t have chosen to go to college if they didn’t think that MAP grants were going to be available to them,” said Governor Pritzker.

According to Woolard, the MAP grant allows her to focus on her education.

“Having the MAP grant cover my tuition and fees gives me the opportunity to focus more on succeeding in my studies than worrying about these extra expenses,” said Woolard.

The MAP grant increase means any student who is at or below the median income level will be able to attend community college for free.