SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To encourage more Illinois students to attend in-state colleges and universities, state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, recently supported legislation that stabilizes Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants and allows students to receive financial aid for all four years of college, instead of just one year.
“MAP grants have kept students right here in Illinois, and it would be unfortunate for our state to lose out on huge student potential if this financial aid is not protected,” said Halpin. “During Governor Rauner’s three-year budget impasse, many students sought to further their education out of state, which harms Illinois’ economy when these students do not return home. We need a long-term plan that proves to students we want them to stay here and contribute to Illinois’s growth.”
The MAP grant provides monetary assistance to needy students to help allay high tuition costs. During much of the Rauner-led budget impasse, these annual grants were not paid out, forcing many students to take fewer credits, drop out of school or transfer to more affordable institutions out of state. Halpin recently supported a bipartisan budget that funds MAP Grants and restores funding for state colleges and universities. Halpin also passed House Bill 5020, which allows students to receive MAP Grant assistance for four years. Under current law, these grants are available for only one year. Grants will be awarded based on financial need, on a first-come, first-served basis. Returning students who have previously received MAP assistance will also be prioritized for the following school year.
“Students are going to choose a college or university that best fits their needs, and we need to make sure our local schools have the best tools in place to attract and retain them,” said Halpin. “MAP helps make college possible for thousands of Illinois students each year, and I am appreciative of our bipartisan work to continue investing in higher education.”