This spring, members of the Partnership for College Completion’s Student Advocate Board shared personal impact stories about MAP and sounded off about the pivotal role these grants play in students’ ability to start, continue, and finish college.
Created in 1967, the Monetary Award Program (MAP) was designed to cover the full cost of tuition at public colleges and universities for all eligible students in Illinois — but the state pulled back its investment as college costs rose, which has led to an affordability crisis.
Without additional funding, about 80,000 low-income Illinois students will be denied MAP next year. $50 million more in MAP would help fund the education of 15,000 more college students.
This Spring, members of the Partnership’s Student Advocate Board shared personal impact stories about MAP and sounded off about the pivotal role these grants play in students’ ability to start, continue, and finish college, making increased investments in this vital program — particularly in the wake of COVID-19 and its disproportionate economic impact on students and families with financial need — even more urgent.
“My parents came to this country at a very young age to work and develop a better future for themselves and for me and my siblings. Never did I expect to graduate from a Chicago Public School on the South Side of Chicago and be able to attend whatever college I had applied to. I applied to 12 colleges and universities and got accepted into all 12 with scholarships and grants, but I still had an out-of-pocket cost. Affordability was a big deal for me because my parents could not afford to cover my college tuition; however, because of my scholarships and the MAP grant I was able to go to my top choice university.
Unfortunately I was not able to stay due to the tuition increasing annually and decided to transfer to UIC. I had appreciated the experience of going to college away from home but knew my heart belonged to Chicago and have enjoyed my time at UIC ever since. I will be graduating in the fall of 2021 with no debt.”
—Maria Mijares, senior, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
“I had a lot of friends who skipped a semester or even withdrew from school because the costs were too much and they didn’t receive enough financial aid. During a crisis where money is involved, it can be very unpredictable, and I’m grateful to have received what I needed to help me during my academic journey.” Read more.
—Jane Andrews, Spring 2021 graduate, DePaul University
“Towards the end of my high school career, college only seemed like a dream to me. My mom and I didn’t think we’d be able to afford it. Our biggest obstacle has always been affordability.
Thanks to the existence of grants such as the MAP grant, I have been able to afford attending UIC for 3 years. Now more than ever, Illinois must invest in the success of its college students!
This is not only a money issue, it is also an equity issue as more than half of MAP recipients are the first in their family to attend college and identify as Black or Latinx. By increasing MAP by $50 million, 15,000 more students could access higher education.”
—Jenny Yakira Lopez, rising junior, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Learn more about the Partnership for College Completion today!