Partnership for College Completion Celebrates the Release of the Commission on Equitable Public University Funding’s Recommendations 

(Pictured from Left to Right: Western Illinois University Director of Governmental Relations Zach Messersmith, Advance Illinois President Robin Steans, State Representative Carol Ammons, State Senator Kimberly Lightford, PCC Director of Policy and Advocacy Christian Perry, Hope Chicago CEO Janice Jackson, Young Invincibles Midwest Advocacy Manager Jorge Arteaga and Women Employed Director of Policy and Advocacy Sarah Labadie. Photo Credit: Monique Bowman)

March 6, 2024

Media Contact: Lauren Grimaldi,

Chicago– The Partnership for College Completion (PCC) is proud to support the recent report and recommendations from the Commission on Equitable Public University Funding. After more than two years of work, the Commission has fulfilled its charge of creating a new, first-of-its-kind funding formula grounded in equity and adequacy, while also incorporating principles of stability and accountability into our funding mechanism for public universities in Illinois. 

PCC uplifted the needs of students throughout the Commission and worked with state legislators, advocates and higher education institutional leaders to create a formula that outlines a path to equity-centered funding. 

“These recommendations are a turning point for higher education funding in Illinois that will provide resources for students from underrepresented populations and the institutions that serve them,” said Lisa Castillo Richmond, PCC Executive Director and member of the Commission. “PCC was proud to be a voice that centered student needs throughout the Commission and strongly supports its conclusions.”

Created in 2021 by SB815, the Commission was created to develop a mechanism for Illinois to distribute funding to state universities equitably to best benefit students who have been traditionally ignored and underrepresented in the higher education system. Illinois currently is among the only states that has no system by which funding is dispersed to public universities, contributing to a 46 percent cut in funding since 2000. Despite recent investments into higher education, students are still being priced out of Illinois colleges and universities, and institutions don’t have the resources they need to support them to completion. In addition, the Commission’s recommendations can be a game changer for students in accessing bachelor’s degrees, and in keeping students in Illinois while they pursue their college goals. 

“The last two decades have been a rollercoaster for Illinois college students and our public institutions that serve them,” Castillo Richmond said. “By passing this funding formula into law, we can boldly and impactfully invest in our students and as a result, the health and vitality of Illinois’ future economy for all Illinoisans.” 

Throughout this legislative session, PCC will work alongside and help educate lawmakers about the importance of passing these recommendations into law. If passed and funded, the formula will result in tens of thousands of additional public university graduates that will contribute billions more in lifetime tax revenue to Illinois, making these recommendations an economic turning point for the entire state. 

“With the incredible leadership of State Senator Kimberly Lightford and State Representative Carol Ammons, PCC will support the charge in the legislature and throughout the state to spread the word about these recommendations,” said Christian Perry, PCC Director of Policy and Advocacy. “This is part of the unfinished business that connects our entire educational system from early childhood into the workforce, and will be a significant step forward for Illinois.” 

For more information on the recommendations, visit here