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Invest an additional $50 million in the Monetary Award Program

The Monetary Award Program (MAP), Illinois’ primary need-based financial aid program, used to be a national exemplar, covering 100% of tuition and fees at Illinois' public colleges and universities for all eligible students. Today, a maximum award covers just 32% of public university and college tuition and fees and for only 42% of all eligible students. As a result, many of Illinois' low-income students, especially in the wake of COVID-19, are choosing not to attend college at all. To equitably and adequately recover from the recession, and make good on the promise of equal opportunity, Illinois must cultivate its talent by investing in need-based aid programs that make college accessible for all low-income students. Urge your legislators to invest $50M in MAP now.

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Require all universities to go #TestOptionalNOW

Students with access to time, money, and technology will always have an advantage over their peers when it comes to preparing for and taking the SAT and ACT, which is why standardized test scores track more closely to family wealth than college readiness. With communities of color and low-income families disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, the inequity of using standardized tests will be further intensified. Low-income students applying to college may have less opportunity to prepare for and take the exam, let alone afford test prep materials. Join the Partnership in urging legislators to prioritize equity in admissions by requiring all public universities go test optional for the next three admission cycles.

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