Guest View: Protect higher education MAP funding for Illinois’ future

In that process, it is imperative we bring together policymakers to rally behind the most valuable priorities that should be protected. Illinois’ need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP) has broad-based support around the state and is just what we need to preserve as our universities and colleges rebound.

Higher education has suffered a brutal series of cuts in the past 20 years, more than nearly all areas of state government since 2002. Yet MAP continues to be a source of hope and light for the thousands of students who receive it.

Just like state and federal aid is keeping businesses open and families in their homes now, MAP is the stabilizing force for low-income students — often minority and going to college for the first time in their family’s history. We have more work to do to help minority and underserved students, yet MAP already provides a lifeline for more than 50% of all African American and Hispanic students going to Illinois colleges and universities. Our next challenge for those students and their families is to work with our institutions and legislators to reduce student debt loads and remove their obstacles to success beyond high school. 

The return on the state’s investment in MAP is real and sustained. Every student who pushes himself and herself to go to college leads to more people working in better jobs, depending less on government support and paying more in taxes. When students from families who have never experienced going to college have a good experience, they plant roots here and create more positive activity for our communities that multiplies over time.

via The Southern

December 29, 2020 at 09:04PM

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