FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2023
Media Contact: Lauren Grimaldi, email@example.com
Partnership for College Completion Applauds the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s FY24 Budget
The Partnership for College Completion (PCC) applauds the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) for prioritizing students and equity in higher education in their FY24 budget. Released on Wednesday, the IBHE’s recommendations set our public universities up to build off of the significant post-COVID enrollment increases at our regional public four-year institutions by increasing funding to the Monetary Award Program (MAP) and distributing additional funding to public institutions through an equity lens. Realizing these suggested increases is critical to continue seeing positive trends in enrollment, especially amongst students of color and those from low-income backgrounds.
“With Black and Latinx students driving the growth in freshman enrollment for the 2022-2023 year, the time is now to continue prioritizing policies and funding that will ensure every student who seeks a college degree can access higher education in Illinois and thrive once they enroll,” said PCC Executive Director Lisa Castillo Richmond. “The proposed FY24 IBHE budget is a strong step in the right direction and vital to the future success of each and every student in Illinois. This is the exact type of bold action that our institutions and our students need and will contribute to the economic vitality of communities across the state.”
Most notably, the IBHE budget includes an additional $86.3 million for public universities to be allocated through one approach to equitable distribution in which the percent and number of Pell students served by an institution are factored in. Their budget represents a 7.5 percent increase in funding for these institutions as well as a $24.9 million increase in funding for community colleges. It also recommends a $50 million increase in MAP funding; while this alone is not enough to make college affordable for many students who have been priced out, it can provide a needed boost while the state pursues efforts to design a more adequate and equitable funding model. PCC has long championed increased MAP funding alongside other policies in the state legislature and continues to work closely with campus leaders across the state to drive racial and socioeconomic equity in student outcomes.
“MAP Funding has a proven history of providing access and keeping Illinois students in college by lessening financial barriers for students from low-income households,” said Castillo Richmond. “However, due to underfunding, 1.7 million MAP grants have been denied to eligible students since 2001. We must continue to invest in this program in order to maintain recent progress toward a fully funded need-based aid program and increase enrollment in public colleges and universities. PCC strongly supports the FY24 IBHE Budget and will continue to work with our partners to ensure these policies are met with approval by the Governor’s Office and the State Legislature.”
The details of the budget may not grab headlines, but include many steps toward bringing equity to Illinois through our higher education system. They include an additional $3.2 million for a new dual credit program, which can expand college access; a $7 million increase for the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) scholarship to recruit and support hundreds of additional future teachers; more than $2.5 billion for ongoing capital projects to update our campus infrastructures; and $3.5 million to make sure that our agencies have the resources to enact these ambitious changes.
About the Partnership for College Completion
The Partnership for College Completion (PCC) champions policies, practices, and systems that increase college completion and eliminate degree completion disparities for low-income, first-generation, and students of color in Illinois – particularly Black and Latinx students.