• Affordability – Current State

    Affordability – Current State

Even before enrolling in college, the biggest barrier, especially for low-income and first generation students, is college affordability. To help students access and persist in postsecondary programs, agencies, institutions, and state policymakers must collectively advance a solution that addresses the rising cost of tuition, inconsistent and decreased purchasing power of MAP grants, and all barriers to on-time completion.
  • In 2016, Illinois had the fifth highest public tuition in the nation.1 A low-income family today must set aside 63% of their total income for a student to attend a public four-year institution.2

  • Illinois continues to disinvest in higher education. Of the five core service areas that the general assembly is statutorily obligated to fund, only higher education is receiving a lower amount than it did in 2000.3 Most recently, during the two-year budget impasse, higher education suffered the steepest decline in appropriations, approximately 68%.

  • Current levels of need-based aid are insufficient. The cost of attending college in Illinois has far outpaced the amount of MAP grants available, which help make college possible, especially for low-income, first generation students and students of color. Only half of all eligible students are receiving need-based state aid – and those who do are not receiving enough.4

  • As a result of the state’s disinvestment, tens of thousands of low-income, disproportionately African-American and Latino students are being priced out of attending the state colleges and universities whose missions are to serve Illinois students.


    To improve equity in college degree attainment, we must guarantee college is affordable for all Illinois students

    Affordability Fact Sheet

1  Illinois Postsecondary Investments, Strategy Labs, May 2017, available at https://www.luminafoundation.org/files/resources/Illinois.Postsecondary.Investments-Executive.Summary.pdf.
2  Midwest Higher Education Compact. Higher Education in Focus: Selected Performance Indicators, 2014-2015.
3  Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Illinois’ Significant Disinvestment in Higher Education, available at https://budgetblog.ctbaonline.org/illinois-significant-disinvestment-in-higher-education-e49db103c80.
4  Why MAP Matters, ISAC, available at http://www.isac.org/home/map-matters/why-map-matters.html.

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