(Chicago) – Today, a new analysis released by Women Employed and Voices for Illinois Children shows that Illinois’ budget impasse has a new face: college students who were counting on the state’s Monetary Award Program, or MAP, so they could afford to go to college this fall.
Women Employed and Voices for Illinois Children requested the data from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to shed light on the statewide impact of the budget impasse on students planning to return to higher education this fall.
“Every lawmaker has hundreds, if not thousands, of constituents whose dreams to pursue higher education will be destroyed as a result of the state’s failure to pass a fully funded, year-long budget that protects vital services for children and families,” said Emily Miller, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Voices for Illinois Children.
MAP grants provide tuition assistance to students who demonstrate financial need, enabling them to attend one of the more than 130 colleges and universities in Illinois. When Governor Rauner vetoed the spending bill containing appropriations for higher education, the MAP grants, along with all payments for public colleges and universities, were left unfunded.
“This year, unless a budget funds MAP, as many as 130,000 students whose college plans are dependent on MAP funding will not have the financial assistance they need to pay for college,” said Sarah Labadie, a Senior Policy Associate with Women Employed. “Two-thirds of adult students who drop out of college do so because they do not have the money to continue.”
During the 2014-2015 school year, MAP grants provided $357,158,718 to 128,399 students across Illinois who enrolled in an Illinois college or university. That number does not include the 160,097 students who met MAP’s eligibility criteria but did not receive MAP assistance due to inadequate funding during the last fiscal year.
“With MAP, more Illinois students can afford college, increasing their chances of finding good-paying jobs and strengthening our economy by creating a stronger workforce,” said Miller. “Lawmakers and the Governor must increase revenue so that Illinois can continue to invest in both families and a working economy.”
About Women Employed
Women Employed mobilizes people and organizations to expand educational and employment opportunities for America’s working women. Founded in 1973, we have spent four decades opening doors, breaking barriers, and creating fairer workplaces for women. Visit us on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.