SIU E MAP grantSPRINGFIELD—Metro East students and students from across Illinois rallied at the Capitol to call for state financial aid and university funding Tuesday.

Illinois has entered its fourth month with no budget to operate public universities or fund the state’s program that helps students afford college. The Monetary Award Program is the state’s college affordability program that helps roughly 140,000 Illinois students attend college.

Paula Rhodes was among the students at the Capitol asking lawmakers to reinstate MAP and college funding. Rhodes is a finishing her associates at Lewis and Clark Community College studying. She receives MAP funding as part of her financial aid package.

“I’m sure there are thousands of people just like me that are in their forties—as well as the young people—and we’re finishing up. Many of us are getting ready to graduate and if we stop now, this might be our last chance,” Rhodes said.

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) supports authorizing MAP and has voted twice this year to fund the program.

“Investing in a student’s future is one of the most useful things the state can do. Thousands of students rely on this assistance and they are making their voices heard. We can’t afford to turn our backs,” Haine said.

The students held a rally at the Capitol before meeting with Haine and other lawmakers.

Category: News Releases

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