Skip to Content Bruce Rauner, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC in the News

December 30, 2016 - Illinois budget woes reignite with spending deal's imminent lapse - Illinois is poised to re-enter a budgetary limbo on Sunday with the expiration of temporary spending authority for the state's cash-strapped universities and fraying human services network.

December 29, 2016 - Calling for WIU to Demonstrate a United Front against the State's Inaction - The state of Illinois has gone 18 months without a budget. And the stop gap spending plan is about to expire with no new deal in sight.

So Bill Thompson, head of the University Professionals of Illinois chapter at Western Illinois University, said higher education must collaboratively push for change by pressuring politicians to come up with a budget.

December 28, 2016 - Richland hoping to fund MAP students - As Illinois’ budget impasse lingers, Richland Community College is researching if they can fund their Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants themselves to help students stay in school.

December 26, 2016 - Illinois’ schools funding MAP grants during budget impasse - As Illinois’ budget impasse lingers, some universities and colleges have decided to fund their Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants upfront to help low-income college students pay for their education.

December 20, 2016 - Survey: Students' frustration over MAP grant uncertainty grows - As a full-time student at Northern Illinois University, Kayla Sorensen barely gets by. She works 30-hour weeks on top of her full class load. Could she pay the bills without the grant money NIU is fronting for the state?

Sorensen is just one of thousands of college students recently surveyed who are wondering and worrying about how they will be able to continue school without their Monetary Award Program cash.

December 20, 2016 - FAFSA deadline approaches to get MAP grant - An important deadline is approaching for College students if they want to get financial assistance next school year.

Some students at John Wood Community College are scrambling to get their FAFSA completed in order to be eligible for the Illinois MAP Grant.

December 20, 2016 - Our Views: Yet another example of state budget mess - Families trying to do right by their college-age students are the latest victims of the state's ongoing budget mess, with funding on hold for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants.

December 19, 2016 - ISAC Survey Shows Some Universites Forcing Students To Repay MAP Grants - A survey by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission found Illinois colleges and universities are handling MAP Grant funding in different ways as state funding runs out.

December 19, 2016 - Education Desk: Robbing Peter To Pay Tuition - The ongoing budget impasse means that state funding for colleges and universities will run out Dec. 31. While some schools are fronting the money for students who get state assistance, a recent survey found that others are scooping up students' federal financial aid to fill in the gap. It's a little bit like opening your child's birthday card from grandma, and pocketing the cash.

December 15, 2016 - Colleges face MAP grant decision again - As Illinois enters a new period of heightened budget uncertainty, colleges and universities must again decide whether to front grant money to low-income students who are supposed to be receiving state aid.

December 15, 2016 - Illinois Colleges Waver on MAP Grants for Spring - Colleges and universities are again deciding whether to front grant money to low-income students who are supposed to be receiving state aid as Illinois' budget remains uncertain.
 

To date, ISAC’s 2017-18 State Scholar announcement has appeared in over 110 media outlets

December 9, 2016 - Glenbard District 87 congratulates Illinois State Scholars - Congratulations to the following Glenbard students, who have been named 2017-18 State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Illinois State Scholars rank in the top 10 percent of the state's high school seniors.

December 7, 2016 - Indian Prairie District 204 students named Illinois State Scholars - Indian Prairie School District 204 students are among the 19,000 high school seniors recognized by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission as 2016-17 Illinois State Scholars.

December 7, 2016 - 436 Naperville District 203 students named Illinois State Scholars - Of the than 19,000 high school seniors recognized by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission as Illinois State Scholars, 436 Illinois students attend Naperville District 203 schools.

December 5, 2016 Illinois State Scholars Announced - The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has released the names of the 2017-18 Illinois State Scholars.

First introduced in 1958, Illinois State Scholars are recognized for their superior academic achievement. State Scholars rank in approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from 765 high schools across the state. Honorees are chosen based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank.

December 5, 2016 - From the community: LTHS releases Illinois State Scholars list - Two hundred sixty-three Lyons Township High School seniors were recently named Illinois State Scholars. The Scholar program recognizes high school students for outstanding academic achievement.

November 25, 2016 - State Official Says Prepaid College Plan Still Beneficial, Despite Budget Impasse - November marked the beginning of enrollment for the state's prepaid tuition plan, called College Illinois!

The punctuation is part of the registered trademark. But despite the clever branding, excitement about the plan seems to be waning, thanks to the ongoing state budget impasse. Eric Zarnikow, director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, says contract sales fell to just 500 last year, down from 650 the year before.

November 24, 2016 - Hunger a struggle in higher-education settings, too - The shelves of the Newman Shares food pantry are a bit picked over on this Wednesday evening, though plenty of fresh-baked goods donated by Panera are still available.

November 23, 2016 - As Immigration Debate Heats Up, Students Push to Expand Financial Aid - Best friends Gabby Mandujano and Debbie Patiño grew up in Carpentersville, a small suburb about 40 miles northwest of Chicago. The two connected over their Mexican heritage and spent summers exploring their hometown and going on camping trips.

November 21, 2016 - Education Desk: Undocumented Students Push For Access - College students who don’t have a Social Security number can’t receive financial aid from public universities in Illinois. But a measure that would give schools the option to provide scholarships or waivers is getting a big push at the statehouse, thanks to the election of Donald Trump.

November 21, 2016 - FAFSA Applications Submitted Early, State Funding For Grants Still Uncertain  - The Illinois Student Assistance Commission reports a drop in submitted financial aid applications compared to 2015, but also says it may be too soon to tell.

November 17, 2016 - ISU students lobby lawmakers for MAP funding - Students at Illinois State University joined others across the state on Wednesday in calling their legislators to let them know their concerns about funding for higher education and the Monetary Award Program.

November 16, 2016 - College students make plea for education grants - Local college students are begging lawmakers to keep their academic dreams affordable. Bradley Students hosted a MAP grant rally on campus Monday.

November 16, 2016 - State House urged to take up aid bill for undocumented students - The election of Donald Trump has fast-tracked efforts to help undocumented students in Illinois, with a controversial bill expanding their access to financial aid up for a possible vote today in Springfield.

November 14, 2016 - Bradley students plea for MAP grant funding - One group that feels forgotten during this ongoing budget battle, college students who need their MAP grants.

November 2, 2016 - Loyola Hosts MAP Advocacy Summit Hoping State Continues to Fund Grants - Colleges and universities throughout Illinois, including Loyola, are working diligently to advocate for Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding for the 2016-17 school year.

November 1, 2016 - Bremen HS Celebrates College Application Month - Bremen High School recently participated in its 3rd Illinois College Application Month (ICAM), an annual event sponsored by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).

October 21, 2016 - New Report Finds Student Debt on the Rise Across Illinois, US - Student debt is on the rise across Illinois and much of the country, a new national report has found, but the number of students graduating with debt actually saw a slight decline here in the Prairie State.

October 19, 2016 - MAP Grants leave students in financial uncertainty - Freshman Casey Brayndick loves Knox for a myriad of reasons, but when it came to choosing a college, the ultimate factor had to be financial aid. But now, Brayndick is one of 315 Knox students anxiously watching the budget debates of the state legislature as approximately $5,000 of her aid hangs in the balance.

October 11, 2016 - Want A MAP Grant? Hurry. Timeline For Student Aid Has Moved Up - Low-income university students had until early March this year to fill out a form that allowed them to take advantage of Illinois' primary financial aid program. 

October 10, 2016 - Education Desk: File That FAFSA ASAP - If you haven’t submitted your student’s FAFSA, you need to do it immediately. But this year, it’s easier than ever to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. We talked to two experts about how students and families can get help filing this form and applying for college and financial aid: Jacqueline Moreno, managing director of college access initiatives at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and Manuel Talavera, ISAC Corps coordinator.  Read more

September 30, 2016 - State undermines its future by shortchanging higher education funding - College students and their parents who rely on publicly funded grants to help pay for higher education had better get a jump on their paperwork this year.

September 30, 2016 - It's already time for students to apply for federal aid - In between marching-band performances and weekend chores, Brenda Reinhold will be crunching numbers at her computer this weekend.

September 24, 2016 - Time to apply for college aid moved up - The key application for college financial aid is available earlier this year — Oct. 1 instead of Jan. 1 — and filling it out soon is important.

September 23, 2016 - Eric Zarnikow: Aid changes mean students should act now - There's a big change this fall for students looking for federal and state financial aid for the 2017-18 school year: this year marks the first time that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available on Oct. 1 instead of in January, as in previous years.

September 22, 2016 - Educational Foundation delivers MAP promise to Oakton students - The Oakton Community College Educational Foundation is making sure students in financial need are covered for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants this year by setting aside $225,000 in grants for students dependent on MAP to be able to afford their college education. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

September 18, 2016 - Illinois Student Assistance Commission to receive Digital Government Achievement Award - Illinois’ college access and financial aid agency, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), is slated to receive an award for its innovative student portal that aids students who are planning for education and related financing.

September 16, 2016 - IVCC sees lower enrollment; college confident trend will change - Many colleges in Illinois have experienced shrinking enrollments and Illinois Valley Community College is no exception.

September 14, 2016 - Parkland seeking to reverse decline in enrollment - With enrollment on the decline and state funding a question mark, Parkland College is exploring new recruitment efforts, including a partnership with the University of Cincinnati.

September 12, 2016 - Financial aid barriers limit college access for undocumented youth - Lisseth Perez did not graduate at the top of her class from Chicago’s Hancock College Prep in 2015, but she worked hard to earn As and Bs. The grades, combined with an average ACT score, were good enough to get her into a half-dozen universities. But Perez had to turn down all those acceptances.

September 9, 2016 - Low-income students face another year without MAP grants - Some Northern Illinois University and Kishwaukee College students started the new academic year off facing an issue carried over from last school year, the state isn’t funding Monetary Award Program grants.

September 9, 2016 - Fall enrollment down 5.5 percent at NIU; freshman enrollment drops 20 percent - With official enrollment for the fall semester showing a decline of more than 5 percent – the largest percentage drop in more than three decades – Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker vowed Wednesday to put the school back on a path to growth.

September 8, 2016 - U of I president gets $100,000 bonus - University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen will be paid a $100,000 performance bonus for his first year on the job. The news comes as the school announced fall enrollment is up, but the number of incoming freshmen at the Chicago campus is down.

September 8, 2016 - SIU officials announce enrollment down 7.6 percent - Southern Illinois University’s fall 2016 enrollment is down 7.55 percent, according to Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell.

The official enrollment number is 15,987, which is down from last fall's reported number of 17,292.

September 6, 2016 - Illinois State continues record-setting enrollment trend - Illinois State University continues to see record-breaking enrollment numbers, despite an increasingly competitive recruiting environment and an ongoing state budget crisis. For the third year in a row, Illinois State has a record-breaking freshman class, and has seen growth in the number of transfer and graduate students. The University’s total enrollment has also topped 21,000 students.

September 6, 2016 - Quincy University has record freshman enrollment - Quincy University welcomed 287 freshmen to campus this August--the largest class in more than two decades and a 3% increase over last year.

August 30, 2016 - Will Early FAFSA Mean Earlier Financial Aid Packages? - November 1 sounds crazy early as a financial aid deadline. W. Kent Barnds knows that.
To require that financial aid applications be submitted before high school seniors have proofread their application essays or even finished taking their SATs is a serious acceleration of the financial aid timeline. Barnds understands that, too.

August 28, 2016 - WIU Finances Stable -- For Now  - Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas said the state's stop-gap spending measure helped the university for the fall semester, but he cautioned it's not designed to get any of the state's public universities through the entire fiscal year.

August 16, 2016 - As students return to school, so does uncertainty over MAP grant funding - Illinois college students who rely on Monetary Award Program grants will be facing at least another semester of financial uncertainty. While the stopgap budget approved on June 30 finally provided full funding for fiscal year 2016 MAP grants, no state funds have been appropriated for the 2016-17 school year. As was the case with the previous academic year, colleges and universities have had to figure out whether they’ll be able cover MAP grants for students in the absence of state funding.

August 12, 2016 - Don't fret about taking on a college loan, but do your homework first - College students: Welcome to the debtors clan. If you are like most students, you will need student loans to pay for college. And while that's a scary thought for some, there is no reason to fret. Despite all the headlines about ruinous student loans, taking on some loans to go to college is not inherently dangerous if you pay attention to the type of loans you choose and are honest with yourself about your career plans. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

August 11, 2016 - Going mobile in Illinois - The days of calling or visiting an office for assistance are quickly disappearing. Today, people want to find information and answers when and where it’s most convenient for them, which is often from a mobile device.  To coincide with that growing preference, the Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) is releasing four new mobile responsive applications to provide citizens with easier access to government services and information.

August 9, 2016 - New State Bill Seeking to Cut Remediation in Higher Education - High school graduation rates across Chicago and all of Illinois have risen steadily for years, but state leaders are now taking action to make sure those students are properly prepared for life inside a college classroom.

July 30, 2016 - Why are so many professors moving out of Illinois? - Kim Coble is among scores of professors fleeing Illinois because of the state's precarious fiscal condition and erratic funding of higher education. After years of climbing the academic ladder, she's decided to take a chance in California, even if it means giving up tenure and descending a rung.

July 27, 2016 - JALC will pay MAP grants for the fall semester - John A. Logan College will pay the the state's Monetary Award Program for the upcoming semester, according to a Wednesday news release from the school.

July 26, 2016 - Feser: MAP grants will be covered - The University of Illinois will again cover students' need-based financial aid grants this school year if the money gets caught in the state funding tug-of-war, a top official said Monday.

July 25, 2016 - Fall MAP to be credited by NIU - Although funding for Monetary Award Program grants are not guaranteed for the coming semesters, NIU will credit student accounts for the fall, Alan Phillips, vice president of administration and finance, said this month.

July 25, 2016 - Union Chief: Stop-Gap Funding Plan "Insufficient, Unacceptable" - John Miller, President of the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, said the six month spending plan passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor was poorly done and is not even a true budget. And he said it amounts to another cut for higher education.

July 18, 2016 - Stopgap budget failing to erase damage of state impasse - The ink wasn't even dry on a partial budget to keep government running through year's end when most of the state's public universities saw their credit downgraded — a signal the deal between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the legislature will do little to erase the damage done by their historic stalemate. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

July 15, 2016 - WIU receiving about $5M per month from stopgap measure - Western Illinois University received $31 million in operating funds after Governor Bruce Rauner signed a six-month stopgap funding bill on June 30. According to Western’s budget director and interim vice president of administrative services, Matt Bierman, the university will receive $5 million to $5.5 million each month through December.

July 15, 2016 - University leaders say stopgap budget only a step - Stopgap funding the state approved last month hasn’t ended ongoing budget worries at state universities.

July 15, 2016 - Illinois Could Owe More Than $10 Billion By 2017 - State Comptroller Leslie Munger announced earlier this week that, after the fall, Illinois' backlog of owed expenses will hit a very troubling milestone. Before the New Year, Munger estimates that the state will rack up a total of $10 Billion in unpaid invoices, resulting in even more serious payment delays spanning six months or more. Munger addressed the recent stopgap measure, saying that it was a positive step forward, but it doesn't address the problem as a whole, meaning that the issue at hand will continue to fester and grow. Payments from the Comptroller's Office will continue to be on a first come, first serve basis, with priority given to nonprofits, colleges, MAP Grant recipients, and business owners who provided goods or services in good faith last year, and have yet to receive payment. Munger has said that she will continue to not prioritize the compensation of state-elected officials, including herself, and that their paychecks will be delayed in tandem with the rest of the bill backlog.

July 11, 2016 - Education Desk: IBHE Warns Illinois Schools Still Under Accreditation Scrutiny - During the recent state budget impasse, Illinois colleges and universities have been forced to scrape by without state funding, except for stop gap money designed to keep them open through the fall semester. But that may not satisfy accreditation agencies. James Applegate, director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, says the Higher Learning Commission may just home in on the fact that Illinois schools are missing what schools in other states have: a solid budget.

July 11, 2016 - The stopgap effect on area colleges - IVCC, Sauk Valley and Black Hawk talk about what the most recent measure means to area students - The state’s stopgap funding measure is a step in the right direction for higher education, but it falls short to meet the many needs of local community colleges.

July 11, 2016 - Illinois Awash in Red Ink as Budget Deal Buys It Six More Months - In Illinois, roadwork won’t grind to a halt, prisons won’t run out of food and schools will reopen on time. But the six-month stopgap budget that averts a government shutdown is only digging the state deeper into the hole.

July 11, 2016 - IL MAP Grants In Question For Fall - Illinois state lawmakers recently provided some relief to students eligible for Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grants, but other students are still uncertain about their college-funding plans.

July 10, 2016 - Some Schools To Cover MAP Grants - Students at most of Illinois' public universities are being told their school is only covering one semester of Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grants.

July 8, 2016 - MAP Grant funding still a concern for college students - Quincy University officials say uncertainty around MAP grants is causing unnecessary hardships for families.

July 8, 2016 - State universities can’t promise full year’s MAP funding - Students at most of Illinois’ public universities are being told their school is only covering one semester of Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grants.

July 7, 2016 - Eureka College has Plan to Cover MAP Grants - Even with a partial state budget, MAP grant funding is up in the air for many college students. Schools are trying to come up with ways to cover the cost.

July 7, 2016 - Illinois budget uncertainty could affect tuition grants - The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has warned that continued uncertainty over state funding for tuition-assistance grants could jeopardize the academic success of thousands of low-income college students.

July 7, 2016 - Stopgap budget again leaves out MAP grants - students and colleges still will have to find alternatives to pay college tuition, as Illinois’ stopgap budget takes care of outstanding balances from last school year but doesn’t address the upcoming one.

July 7, 2016 - MAP uncertainty could delay students' plans - Continued uncertainty over state funding for tuition-assistance grants could jeopardize the future academic success of thousands low-income college students, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission warned this week.

July 6, 2016 - Brown: State grants no reassurance to low-income college students - For the second straight year, the state of Illinois is leaving tens of thousands of low-income college students in the lurch about whether it will provide them with financial aid.

July 6, 2016 - How the state financial mess could still kill college dreams for thousands - The state's budget mess could delay or even kill chances for completion of college degrees for as many as 18,000 recipients of state financial aid, according to the agency that administers the grants.

July 6, 2016 - MAP Grant Uncertainty Leads Some Students To Change Plans - MAP grants - the monetary award program that helps low-income students pay college tuition — will receive some funding through the stopgap measure approved last week by Illinois lawmakers. But a new survey conducted by the agency that administers the MAP program shows the detrimental effects the state budget impasse has already had on those students’ enrollment decisions.

July 6, 2016 - UPDATED: SIU will cover MAP grants for students this fall, but layoffs, other cuts underway - A week after lawmakers in Springfield inked a $1 billion stopgap budget deal for higher education, Southern Illinois University announced Tuesday that the school will cover grants for low-income students to attend in the upcoming fall semester at the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses.

July 5, 2016 - Colleges get some relief under stopgap budget - While K-12 education is funded under the recently approved stopgap budget for a full year, public colleges such as Carl Sandburg College were only funded for six months.

July 2, 2016 - WIU, local districts eye stopgap funding - The Western Illinois University community has something extra to celebrate over the Independence Day weekend: The six-month stopgap budget signed by Governor Bruce Rauner on Thursday gives $1 billion to the state’s cash-strapped public universities and community colleges.

July 2, 2016 - Budget deal doesn't deliver stability for higher ed - There was a collective sigh of relief on college campuses across Illinois when Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a short-term budget deal that will pump nearly $1 billion into the state’s higher education system.

July 1, 2016 - Stopgap Budget Not Enough for State Universities - Moody’s Investor Service is out with a warning, that the just-passed stopgap spending plan is not enough for Illinois’ public universities. Just yesterday lawmakers were extolling the measure’s support for higher education.

July 1, 2016 - Rauner signs stopgap budget deal - Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic leaders of the Illinois General Assembly put aside their differences long enough to pass a short-term deal Thursday that allows state government to continue operating through December and funds schools for a full year.

July 1, 2016 - Lake County students fear student loan debt will prevent big purchases - Many recent college graduates won't be able to purchase a car or home because of their student loan debt — a concern even for local students who tried to lower their debt by first attending community college.

July 1, 2016 - How the typical American family pays for college - You're thrilled your child got into college, but that doesn't mean you're happy about the tuition bill.

Last year, the average private college charged $43,921 for tuition, room and board. Public schools charged $19,548 for in-state students and $34,031 for those from out of state. That's enough to send jaws dropping for plenty of parents.

June 30, 2016 - State budget – Local lawmakers react: 'It's the best deal we could accomplish today' - While the temporary budget passed by both legislative chambers Thursday provides much-needed financial relief for schools and social services agencies, the area’s lawmakers weren’t in a celebratory mood Thursday evening.

June 30, 2016 - Illinois Issues: The Impasse And The Damage Done - Democratic leaders in the legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner appear to be close to a deal to approve some funding for social service providers, higher education, capital construction and state operations. The proposal would also fund K-12 schools for all of next fiscal year.

But the plan can’t erase the destruction caused by the state going for a year without a budget.??

June 30, 2016 - State Budget Woes Hit GSU - State budget woes now are hitting hard the county's only public university; Governors State University is shorted $17 million from state appropriations.

June 29, 2016 - Illinois Newspapers to Lawmakers 'Enough' - Dozens of newspapers across Illinois on Wednesday published coordinated editorials demanding that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders in the General Assembly agree on a budget.

June 29, 2016 - Funding stability needed for higher education, leaders say - The presidents of three state universities say their schools likely will be able to continue through the fall semester without drastic changes regardless of whether lawmakers approve more funding before the new budget year begins Friday.

June 28, 2016 - Higher education coalition urges full funding for both 2016, 2017 - Illinois college and university leaders on Tuesday urged Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled legislature to provide a full budget for higher education for fiscal 2016, which ends Thursday, as well as 2017 funding.

June 28, 2016 - Enough: Illinois' budget standoff must be resolved - Illinois' budget standoff must be resolved, and must be resolved now. Whether or not our leaders manage to pass a stopgap funding measure this week, Illinois still needs the stability of a full budget to restore the health of our state and its economy.

June 28, 2016 - Editorial: Illinois, one year later, falling apart by the numbers - Here’s a number for you: $8,031,269,046.06.

That’s how big a deadbeat the State of Illinois is. That’s how far behind the state was in paying its bills as of noon on Tuesday, when we started writing this editorial.

Here’s another big number: $9,634,987.

That’s how much Illinois has spent in the last year on late fees and interest for failing to pay its bills on time. Plain and stupid credit card debt.

And here’s a third big number: 60.

That’s the percentage of human service agencies surveyed by the United Way of Illinois that have had to cut back on how many people they help because they’re going broke. If the state keeps stiffing the agencies, not paying what’s owed, a third of them say they’ll likely close in the next six months.

June 28, 2016 - Area mayors weigh in on state budget mess as deadline looms - As Illinois lawmakers face the end of the fiscal year this week, area mayors are weighing in on the a budget impasse that could cause cash to stop flowing to local 911 centers, public health facilities and local schools if the state enters a second year without a budget. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

June 23, 2016 - Rauner Close to Short-Term Budget Agreement - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he’s close to reaching a short-term budget deal with Democrats.

June 23, 2016 - Augustana alumni, friends raising money to make up for MAP grant funding gap - MAP grants for a number of Augustana College students are only getting partially funded from the State of Illinois, and now campus leaders are looking to help out where they can.

June 22, 2016 - Chairman: Higher ed in 'survival mode' because of budget stalemate - The ongoing budget stalemate is having a negative impact on the state's higher education system that could be long lasting, the Illinois Board of Higher Education was told Tuesday.

At the start of the meeting, held at Illinois State University's Bone Student Center, IBHE Chairman Tom Cross noted that schools have “backed up into survival mode.”

June 21, 2016 - Map: From Chicagoland to downstate, the Illinois budget battle is causing damage across the state - The Illinois budget battle continues into its second consecutive year with no plans for a state budget in sight. By law, an Illinois budget for Fiscal Year 2017 is supposed to be signed into law by July 1, 2016. Lawmakers and the governor failed to introduce a budget for FY 2016 by July 1 last year.

June 20, 2016 - Saint Xavier cites state budget crisis for Gilbert closing - Illinois' anniversary of when it began operating without a comprehensive state budget is next month. With no end in sight, the fallout continues.

The impasse is affecting people across the state and even some as far away as Arizona.

Recently, officials at Saint Xavier University in Chicago announced that because of the funding uncertainty in Illinois, specifically the state's inability to deliver on promised grant money to low-income students, they would close a newly opened satellite campus in Gilbert, Ariz., at the end of the fall semester. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

June 19, 2016 - Lincoln College president still looking ahead - As David Gerlach enters his second year as president of Lincoln College, he's pleased with the progress made in its transition to a four-year school, but worries about one problem beyond his control: state funding for the Monetary Award Program.

June 17, 2016 - JJC adopts budget, avoids layoffs - Despite uncertainty about state funding, Joliet Junior College trustees adopted a budget that avoids layoffs and allows for the completion of the City Center Campus in Downtown Joliet. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

June 17, 2016 - Illinois women hit 'disproportionally hard' by record state budget impasse - As Illinois government has lurched along for nearly a year without a formal budget, women who rely on state services have been among those suffering the most. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

June 16, 2016 - Fewer MAP Grant Applications Filed - Thousand of Illinois students apparently don’t want to risk the state's MAP grant delays and disappointments.

June 14, 2016 - GSU in "trouble," president tells Will County, state officials - Will County's only public university — Governors State University — is in "trouble," according to its President Elaine Maimon, as she addressed the county board's legislative committee Tuesday morning.

June 9, 2016 - Cuts Questioned at U of Chicago - Budget cuts are drawing protests at the University of Chicago amid worries academic departments are being asked to pay for a past construction boom -- and faculty members fear that their historical influence on major decisions is being diminished.

June 3, 2016 - Higher Education in Illinois Is Dying - This spring my friend’s daughter received exciting news: She had been accepted to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It’s our hometown campus, but also the state’s flagship public university and one of the best research institutions in the country.

June 2, 2016 - Lack of budget disappoints higher ed presidents - The presidents of Illinois State University and Heartland Community College expressed disappointment Wednesday that the Legislature adjourned without resolving state budget issues but said their institutions can weather the setback — for now.

June 1, 2016 - WIU would receive $45M under proposed ‘bridge’ bill - Cash-strapped Western Illinois University would receive a$45 million state appropriation under a bill introduced by Illinois House Republicans on Tuesday, as legislators failed to meet a deadline to reach a complete budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

May 31, 2016 - Illinois Senate rejects House budget plan - As the likelihood of a state budget deal in Illinois diminishes Tuesday evening, state Senate Democrats approved a nearly $16 billion bill for public schools next year while rejecting an out-of-balance House spending plan that the governor threatened to veto.

May 29, 2016 - Saint Xavier University cites uncertain Illinois funding in closing Gilbert campus - A Chicago-based Catholic university says uncertainty with state funding for higher education aid is responsible for its decision to phase out its operation in the southeast Valley.

May 28, 2016 - Rape crisis centers to autism: Atlas of Austerity maps 15 ways the Illinois budget crisis hurts Illinois - (Editor’s note: The list below presents a condensed version of the Illinois Atlas of Austerity, a website researched and developed by University of Illinois graduate student Melissa Heil to illustrate the effects of the Illinois budget impasse. We highly recommend visiting the site to learn more on each of the 15 items listed below.)

Illinois Atlas of Austerity (www.illinoisausterityatlas.com) chronicles the various impacts the state budget impasse has had on social service agencies, higher education, youth programs, and public health. I had two goals for putting together this project. First, I wanted to create a resource that shows the breadth of the consequences of the budget impasse in an accessible way for the general public. Secondly, I hope it can be a useful tool for advocacy groups and affected organizations to communicate with their own constituents.

May 25, 2016 - State's lost year about to become two as budget cliff nears - llinois lawmakers have been busy in the last week of the regular legislative session. They moved to establish a youth-only turkey hunting season, set standards on where podiatrists can perform amputations and allowed for the adoption of retired police dogs.
Yet, the Land of Lincoln remains the only state in the nation without a budget, mired in the longest such standoff in its history.

May 22, 2016 - Where Does the Regional State University Go From Here? - ...As Illinois’ budget standoff moves into its 11th month, people at the state’s public colleges are wondering: When the state turns on the financial tap, what kind of money will come back? Who will still have a job? What programs will still be open? (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

May 22, 2016 - College of DuPage looking to keep tuition, taxes flat - College of DuPage officials are planning to keep tuition flat and hold the line on property taxes during the next fiscal year, even while preparing for the possibility they won't receive any financial support from the state.

May 22, 2016 - Budget stalemate erodes interest in some Illinois colleges - High school seniors' unease over the lack of state funding for Illinois universities is contributing to a drop in applications at a number of campuses, and the problem appears to primarily affect schools facing some of the toughest financial struggles.

May 20, 2016 - MAP funding plan faces another dead end - The Illinois General Assembly has passed another bill that would provide money for grants to low-income college students, but it faces a likely veto from Gov. Bruce Rauner.

May 19, 2016 - Illinois higher education per student funding down nearly 80 percent since 2008 - If Illinois colleges and universities don’t receive any more funding this year, per student funding will be down nearly 80 percent since 2008 - that’s around $5,000 per student and would be the highest cut in the nation.

May 19, 2016 - EIU President Glassman warns of more cuts - At least for Eastern Illinois University, the stopgap emergency funding sent out to state universities to get them through the summer may not live up to its goal.

May 17, 2016 - Madigan Introduces New MAP Grant Funding Plan - House Speaker Michael Madigan introduced a plan to fund MAP grants for college students after Tuesday's leaders meeting wrapped up.

May 17, 2016 - Illinois House approves money for college tuition grants - The Illinois House approved a proposal to fully fund tuition grants for low-income students amid Republican objections that the bill is a false promise.

May 17, 2016 - Much posturing at the Capitol as budget progress remains elusive - Political posturing over the state budget stalemate rolled on at the Capitol on Tuesday, as both Democratic and Republican legislative leaders emerged from a rare closed-door meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner declaring they'd received concessions from the other side.

May 16, 2016 - Oakton Community College president says school has learned to do without state aid - akton Community College has fared better than other public universities and colleges in Illinois over the course of nearly a year without any state funding because leaders at the institution have learned over the years to expect less from the state, said OCC president Joianne Smith.

May 16, 2016 - Stopgap funds will ease SIUE's summer - The stopgap funding given to state universities is providing a bridge to keep the Southern Illinois University system operational over the summer, but more funding is drastically needed.

May 12, 2016 - Students of color take biggest hit in Illinois higher education funding crisis - The recent higher education bill that sent $600 million in stopgap funding to public colleges and universities will keep them afloat for the next few months. But with long-term state funding still held hostage by the ongoing budget crisis, deeper problems with college access and affordability remain unsolved for low-income and first-generation students of color, who depend most heavily on state aid and publicly funded universities.

May 11, 2016 - An Underfunded Education - During last month’s walkout and “Day of Action,” activists and teachers from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) gathered at two of the city’s public universities, Chicago State University (CSU) and Northeastern Illinois University, to advocate for increased funding across the education system. They protested a state budget crisis that has not only left Chicago Public Schools stretched thin, but also left public universities, including those two, without any state funding for most of the 2016 fiscal year.

May 11, 2016 - WIU faculty union agrees to pay cut - Western Illinois University’s chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100 has agreed to a pay cut under a proposal voted on by members last week.

May 9, 2016 - Triton bracing for another potential year without state budget - Triton College is among the Illinois educational institutions that could face an operating deficit thanks to the ongoing state budget crisis. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

May 7, 2016 - ISU, others may have to wait for more money - Illinois State University, like other higher education institutions in the state, is hoping for more state funding, but it might need to get in line behind social service agencies, according to what ISU's director of state governmental relations has been told.

May 5, 2016 - Illinois Senate votes for $454 million higher-education package - For the second time in two weeks, the Illinois Senate moved to loosen the financial death grip on the state’s higher education system, which has been starved of operating revenue by a record-setting, 11-month state budget stalemate.

May 5, 2016 - Size of incoming UI freshman class similar to '15 - University of Illinois officials say they expect to see a similar-size freshman class next fall, based on the number of students who accepted the UI’s offer of admission by May 1.

May 5, 2016 - SIU braces for enrollment drop in the fall, points fingers at Springfield - Southern Illinois University officials are bracing for another enrollment drop in the fall — and they’re pointing fingers at Springfield.

May 5, 2016 - Oakton Community College to raise tuition, cut classes without adequate state funding - Oakton Community College is cutting costs and raising tuition amid the Illinois budget impasse despite the emergency higher education appropriations signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner on April 25.

May 4, 2016 - Bipartisan efforts coming to fruition in legislature - Following last month’s agreement to get stopgap funding to public universities and community colleges, other green shoots of bipartisanship are starting to appear as the General Assembly’s spring session draws closer to its scheduled adjournment at the end of May.

May 1, 2016 - Mixed feelings greet partial funding of student grants - Catholic universities in the Archdiocese of Chicago said they are pleased that their students will receive some of the funding they were promised by the state of Illinois as part of a higher education spending bill signed April 25, but are still in limbo in terms of what they can expect.

April 30, 2016 - Chicago State lays off a third of its staff; Rev. Jackson blasts Rauner - Chicago State University on Friday said more than 300 employees are being laid off, a dramatic downsizing a week after the school received some long-awaited money from the state, the Tribune has learned.

April 29, 2016 - Gov. Rauner's visit to the Univ. of Illinois spurs student protest - Governor Bruce Rauner’s visit to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Thursday ended sooner than expected as some 25 students stormed the halls of the Student Union to protest a state higher-ed funding crisis — days after a temporary funding bill was signed to keep public universities running.

April 29, 2016 - MAP Grant Dollars Start To Flow Again - State Comptroller Leslie Munger has news that should be music to the ears of anxious college students who depend on Monetary Award Program grants.

April 26, 2016 - As Chicago State ends semester early and some funds OK'd, uncertainty looms - Chicago State University ends its spring term this week with an eleventh-hour infusion of cash but no clear road map for its financial future.

Like many state universities and community colleges, the Far South Side school has sputtered along this year with no state funding. Chicago State declared a financial crisis in February and warned hundreds of employees they were at risk of being laid off. Officials shortened this semester by two weeks to enable students to finish classes - and degrees - without interruption.

April 25, 2016 - Illinois gives universities $600M in funding, but is it too little too late? - Illinois lawmakers have agreed to funnel $600 million into the state’s public colleges and universities to keep them afloat through the summer, but after 10 months of starving the schools of money, it may be too late to reverse some of the damage.

April 25, 2016 - Illinois Legislature Approves $600 Million For Higher Education, MAP Grants - The Illinois Legislature approved a $600 million short-term funding fix on Friday for financially struggling colleges and universities that have been without funding during the state budget stalemate.

April 25, 2016 - Impasse leaves some college plans in air - Jacksonville senior Hayley Rockwell was trying to decide between two potential universities at the start of the school year, but finances gave her an extra push to choose an out-of-state school.

April 25, 2016 - Gov. Rauner signs $600M university funding package - Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation authorizing $600 million in emergency funding to keep major Illinois universities operating until fall. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

April 23, 2016 - Rauner, Madigan both blink on higher education money - For months, Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan held firm on what it would take to turn on the spigot and let state money flow to cash-starved universities and community colleges caught up in Illinois' record-setting budget impasse. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

April 22, 2016 - Labor Market Looking Up For Recent Grads, But Experts Say More Improvement Needed - The U.S. labor market remains tough for today's young high school and college graduates, but their job prospects are brighter than they were for past groups of students who graduated in the wake of the Great Recession, finds a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)

April 22, 2016 - State lawmakers approve funding to keep universities afloat through summer - Lawmakers threw foundering Illinois public universities and community colleges a life preserver Friday, with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats forging a rare agreement to spend $600 million to keep campuses open through summer. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

April 21, 2016 - MAP grant loss derails Monmouth students' dreams - Illinois has an uncertain future because the state has been without a budget for nine months.

Where I see the biggest impact of that is in higher education. Statewide, more than 125,000 students and their families have been hurt because state leaders have not approved the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP). These students depend on MAP to help them realize their dream of earning a college education.

April 21, 2016 - Private College Students Worried about Illinois Budget Impasse - Five Knox College students joined roughly 1,200 other demonstrators at the Illinois capitol, calling for the state to provide funding for the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP).

April 21, 2016 - Folks In Higher Education Lobby Illinois Lawmakers For Funding As More Layoffs Are Announced - Illinois colleges and universities have cut staff, eliminated programs and threatened to close … all because they've gone 9 months without money from state government. As people rallied in Springfield Wednesday to push for state cash, there was news of more possible layoffs.

April 21, 2016 - Hundreds rally at state Capitol for higher education funding - Several hundred students, employees and supporters from universities and colleges across the state rallied near the Illinois Capitol on Wednesday to pressure lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner to reach a compromise to fund higher education.

April 21, 2016 - Northwestern covers $2.4 million of tuition grants owed by state - Northwestern is covering about $2.4 million in grants for low- and middle-income students on campus, funds Illinois has not provided since January due to the ongoing state budget deadlock.

April 20, 2016 - Students come together to rally against budget impasse in Springfield - SIU students, faculty and staff traveled to Springfield on Wednesday for a Lobby Day to rally against the state's budget impasse, which has left Illinois universities and colleges without state funding since July 1.

April 20, 2016 - College kids to Illinois officials: Start funding higher ed - College students Wednesday joined the chorus of protesters angry with Illinois officials for their failure to agree on a spending plan.

April 20, 2016 - New Efforts To Fund Illinois Higher Education Attracting Bipartisan Support - Illinois colleges and universities have gone without state money since last summer.

There haven't been a lot of spending measures in Illinois garnering bipartisan support from lawmakers. These new attempts have brought together members of both parties. But, the legislation is just a Band-Aid in the larger budget fight.

April 17, 2016 - Plenty working against the UI, from rumors to rivals - ...The challenge is a bit more daunting this year. Wary parents see lawmakers fiddling in Springfield while colleges and universities struggle to pay bills, with no state funding nearly 10 months into the fiscal year...

April 14, 2016 - Confusion for students, counselors as MAP grants in limbo for second straight year - This is the time of year when high school seniors finalize their plans for college, including budgeting for the year to come.

The Illinois budget impasse has made this year an especially challenging one for high school seniors on two fronts. One concerns the general state of public universities in Illinois. Having received no state funding since the budget crisis began on July 1, the state’s nine public universities are in varying states of struggling. This includes Chicago State University, which is preparing to close at the end of the month if state help doesn’t arrive, and Eastern and Western Illinois University, both of which recently have laid off non-teaching staff. (WIU’s April 13 layoff notice of 110 employees is here. EIU laid off 177 workers in February.)

April 14, 2016 - 'We know that students may simply be dropping out' - Illinois' relentless budget crisis, including the end of state-funded financial aid to college students, appears to be having an effect on prospective students, the head of the state student assistance commission said Thursday.

April 14, 2016 - More Layoffs at Western Illinois University - In a letter to the campus community, WIU President Jack Thomas said around 110 university workers will receive layoff notices within the next week.

April 14, 2016 - Illinois Issues: Budget Impasse Blurs Future For The Class of 2016 - High school seniors who plan to go on to college should be finalizing their dorm and roommate choices about now.

But this year, those decisions aren’t about who brings the mini-fridge. With a total lack of state funding for higher education, it’s about which schools and programs will be fiscally stable, or whether to go at all.

April 13, 2016 - Morning Spin: Rauner turns thumbs down on pension bill Emanuel wants signed (see section titled More MAP grant warnings) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has all but sealed the fate of legislation pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that would put off nearly $220 million in payments to the city’s police and fire pension funds, saying “there’s no way” he’d sign the bill without action on his pro-business, union weakening agenda. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

April 13, 2016 - IL college students head to state Capitol to 'March for Map' - On Wednesday, Illinois students are taking their concerns about the budget stalemate straight to Springfield with a demonstration they’re calling the “March for MAP”.

April 11, 2016 - Illinois Democratic Congressmen Urge Rauner To Act On Higher Education Funding - Democratic congressmen from Illinois wrote to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Monday, urging him to take action on the higher education funding crisis in the state.

April 8, 2016 - State Budget Battle: College Students Looking for Financial Backup Plans

April 8, 2016 - Where do Illinois students take out the most student loans? - As high school seniors prepare to head off to college, student loans might be on their minds — and some Illinois colleges graduate students with more debt than others.

April 6, 2016 - Bill would mean no loss of professional license for student loan default - The state no longer would be able to deny a professional license or a license renewal to someone who defaulted on a student loan under a bill approved Wednesday by a Senate committee.

April 6, 2016 - Higher Ed Leaders Say They Won't Cover Fall MAP Grants Without State Money - Many Illinois community colleges and universities will not cover low-income tuition waivers in the fall, unless they get state money.

April 6, 2016 - DE Poll: How is the budget impasse affecting you? - Seventy percent of SIU students think the Illinois budget stalemate has directly affected their university experience, according to a straw poll conducted this month by the Daily Egyptian.

April 6, 2016 - Quincy University restructures, cuts costs to counter $1.2 million in frozen state grants - Quincy University will trim its $25 million budget by $1.75 million for the coming school year and initiate major academic and administrative restructuring in response to the continuing budget stalemate in Illinois.

April 5, 2016 - Illinois budget stalemate affects students’ college choices - As the Illinois budget stalemate enters its tenth month, a high school counselor sees the impasse having an impact on her students’ college choices.

April 5, 2016 - ISU holds spending below budgeted amount - Illinois State University has been spending below the level authorized by its board of trustees as it waits to see how much money the state appropriates for its operations.

April 4, 2016 - Illinois budget impasse—Higher education caught in the crossfire - Darren Martin knew he wanted to attend school at Chicago State University because it was the place he spent his summers at 13 years old. Martin came from a single-parent home and, to keep him away from the violence and gangs that plague Chicago’s South Side, his mother enrolled him in the affordable summer programs offered by the school. Now, Martin is in his senior year at the university and set to graduate in the spring as an early childhood education major, if his school is still open then.

April 4, 2016 - Letters for MAP Grants Headed to Springfield - More than 1,000 letters are going to Springfield Tuesday, asking for grant money.

April 4, 2016 - Lost without a MAP: College unable to fund monetary awards for 2016– 2017 - Columbia will not fund student Monetary Award Program grants for the 2016–2017 academic year, according to President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim.

April 3, 2016 - Forbes’ best value Illinois colleges for 2016 - There’s likely never been a tougher time for Illinois colleges or its students as the state enters its 10th month without a budget. Monetary Award Program grants are not being funded at most colleges and several of the schools are cutting jobs and struggling to maintain programs.

April 3, 2016 - From the community: Responding to state budget impasse, CLC eliminates 20 positions - With the financial uncertainly around state funding, the College of Lake County is eliminating 20 full time positions. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

April 1, 2016 - State’s budget woes mean cuts, changes at Illinois College - Illinois College is restructuring or eliminating nine positions at the end of the school year as colleges across Illinois continue to grapple with effects of an ongoing state budget impasse.

March 31, 2016 - Harper College to lay off 29 employees, eliminate dozens more jobs - As Illinois' budget impasse nears the 10-month mark, leaving some public colleges and universities struggling to get by without state funding, a northwest suburban community college has become the latest school to announce layoffs as a cost-saving measure. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 31, 2016 - UIS Students And Faculty Hold Day Of Action - As the budget impasse drags on, some universities are struggling to continue helping students.

March 30, 2016 - MAP grant students react to possibly paying back their grant - Joshua Bowens works more than 60 hours a week — sometimes only getting a few hours of sleep between classes — and if he has to pay back his MAP grant money, he may have to take on more.

March 30, 2016 - Saint Xavier Students With MAP Grants Must Meet With Financial Aid Office - Students at Saint Xavier University receiving MAP grants have been asked to make an appointment with the financial aid office by Friday.

March 30, 2016 - SIU social work students set to take protests to state capitol - A handful of social work students from Southern Illinois University are headed to the state capital on Tuesday, April 5, to share their concerns about the budget impasse and then get busy lobbying state legislators.

March 27, 2016 - Chicago State U. Students Left Adrift Amid Budget Impasse - Chicago State University (CSU) students do not know what the future holds in store for them as the university faces continued months of a state budget impasse. The institution may have to close if it does not receive money from the state soon, since it is reliant on state appropriations for nearly one-third of its annual funding and does not have adequate financial reserves to see it through coming months.

March 26, 2016 - Concerned students, faculty members discuss effects of Illinois budget impasse - About 40 faculty and community members and students met Saturday afternoon as a group they call “Speak for Illinois” to discuss the state's longest budget impasse to date.

March 26, 2016 - Colleges sending out MAP grant estimates - Illinois college students are getting award letters about their state financial aid grants for 2016-17 — even though the program hasn't been funded for this school year yet.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is banking on some type of appropriation to come through before next fall — or at least ensuring that it's prepared when and if the money starts flowing.

March 25, 2016 - Undocumented Illinis come out of the shadows to support ACCESS Bill - This past Monday was the Coming out of the Shadows event at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign as students and supporters took the stage on the quad to speak about the ACCESS Bill. The Student Access to College and Career- Education for Statewide Success Bill (ACCESS) if passed would provide financial aid to undocumented students enrolled in a four year public university in Illinois.

March 31, 2016 - Illinois colleges weigh lost scholarship funding due to state budget crisis - Among the students most in peril as the state operates without a budget are those who receive state dollars to help pay for their college education. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 31, 2016 - High schoolers, parents are wary of Illinois colleges as budget crisis hits schools - When Michael Houlihan narrowed his choices for college, Eastern Illinois University and Illinois State University made the short list. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 31, 2016 - Why the Budget Stalemate in Illinois Is Hitting One University Especially Hard - Public colleges throughout Illinois have been hit hard by a budget standoff that has prevented them from getting any state money for the better part of a year. But perhaps no institution has been hit harder than Chicago State University.

March 29, 2016 - Governor hears from students who plan to leave state for college - Gov. Bruce Rauner told a group of seniors at LeRoy High School that he wants to put more money into Illinois' public universities, but it's already too late for many of them. They say they're going to out-of-state schools next year.

March 24, 2016 - The latest victims of no state budget: Illinois Tech students - The Illinois budget deadlock is making it harder for students at the Illinois Institute of Technology to pay for college.

March 24, 2016 - Accelerate Illinois’ Modernization: Mobile is the Premiere Platform - The long-term vision is for all state of Illinois applications to be “MobileFIRST" and to be accessible on all mobile form factors.

March 24, 2016 - Infographic: Moody’s credit ratings for Illinois public universities amid budget impasse - As the budget impasse was heading into its ninth month, Moody’s Investors Service on Feb. 24 downgraded the credit rating of three state universities and reaffirmed the rating of five.

March 24, 2016 - Tuition hike approved at SIU - A tuition increase at SIU will now go into effect in fall of 2016.

March 24, 2016 - Higher education institutions join SA budget initiative - A total of 21 higher education institutions have signed on to the state-wide budget initiative letter, which was written by Timothy Brandner, NIU Student Association sergeant at arms.

March 24, 2016 - Illinois Institute of Technology Is Asking Students to Pay Back Their MAP Grants - As the Illinois state government continues to withhold funds for higher education, Illinois college students who rely on state funding to help pay for college are feeling the pressure. For the neediest students at Illinois Institute of Technology, that burden just became a little more to bear. Students just received word they have to pay back what they would have received in Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants this fall.

March 23, 2016 - EIU-UPI accepts salary deferral plan; administration agrees - EIU-UPI, Eastern Illinois University's faculty union, voted Monday and Tuesday to accept the UPI leadership's proposal for a salary deferral plan to garner more than $2 million for the university to make payroll until the end of the fiscal year.

March 23, 2016 - Much ado about nothing - Another avalanche of statements from Illinois legislators and Gov. Rauner were sent out last week – each assigning blame for the state budget standoff to the other side and ridding themselves of responsibility for a financial fiasco that’s receiving national ridicule.

March 22, 2016 - Concordia-Chicago to Cover MAP Grants for New Students - Concordia University Chicago announced today that Illinois MAP Grant funding will be replaced with CUC institutional grants for both current and new undergraduate students for the 2016-2017 academic year, if the State of Illinois ultimately fails to fund the grants. This announcement comes less than a month after the University informed currently enrolled MAP Grant recipients that their grant funding would be honored by the University via an account credit during the current (2015-2016) academic year.

March 21, 2016 - Lincoln College to cover fall 2016 MAP grants - Students attending Lincoln College this fall who qualify for state Monetary Award Program grants will be fully covered by the college, despite the continuing state budget impasse.

March 18, 2016 - Our university is in danger: No, this is not a 'teachable moment' - I generally don't mind saying “I don't know” to my students. I think that's the sign of a confident and honest professor. It lets students in on the big secret that we don't actually have all the answers—that we are searching, too. But I don't like to say “I don't know” to my students when talking about their academic futures.

March 18, 2016 - What The Lack Of MAP Grant Funding Costs Illinois State Universities - A lack of funding for the Monetary Award Program -- or MAP grants -- have cost Illinois public universities more than $72 million overall. That's according to data provided by each of the state universities and their campuses.

March 16, 2016 - Senate expected to take another crack at passing spending bill - Illinois senators are expected to vote Thursday on yet another bill that would authorize spending on higher education, college grants for needy students and a variety of human-services programs.

March 16, 2016 - Oakton officials blame 10.8 percent tuition hike on state - Oakton Community College is raising tuition 10.8 percent this year and might raise it by almost as much next year, depending on the status of state budget negotiations, officials said.

March 15, 2016 - A number of bills on deck could fund higher ed - As the budget impasse gridlock drags on in Springfield, Western Illinois University and other public institutions are in the ninth month of the current fiscal year without operating appropriations.

March 14, 2016 - McHenry County College student feels effects of unfunded MAP grants - While state legislators have been disagreeing on ways to address an unfunded college grant program – one more quandary born of the ongoing budget standoff – at least one McHenry County student was figuring out how to stay in school despite the loss of that money.

March 12, 2016 - Drown Illinois higher ed, drown the state's future - Illinois, if it's ever to get out of the budget crisis in which it finds itself, must improve its business climate and grow its economy.

So it's mind-boggling to try to figure out why the state's leaders seem content to kill the state's higher education system while they play out a political showdown without regard to the people it hurts.

March 10, 2016 - SIU president to Senate: ‘We are not going anywhere’ - Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn told the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday that parents are now telling him that they will be sending their kids out of state due to the ongoing uncertainty of the future of Illinois universities.

March 10, 2016 - State Universities in Crisis Mode - Western, Southern and Eastern Universities plead their case to the State Senate - Universities across the state are operating in unchartered territory with no state funding this year and major cuts potentially on the horizon.

March 10, 2016 - For Elmhurst College student, MAP grant is more than political issue - Elmhurst College student Tiffany Lutka isn't sure how she is going to pay for her last year of college.

March 10, 2016 - Northeastern Illinois University announces furlough days - Hundreds of full-time professional and administrative staff members at Northeastern Illinois University will be required to take furlough days starting this month, school officials announced Thursday. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 10, 2016 - Higher Education Leaders Discuss Budget Fears In Springfield - Illinois lawmakers heard Thursday from an assortment of higher education leaders asking for funding.

They used terms like “starving,” “dismantling” and “economic suicide” as they tried to persuade state senators to find some way to heal the budget impasse.

March 9, 2016 - Budget impasse hits Parkland College - The state budget impasse is proving increasingly troublesome for the Parkland College faculty, staff and student body, and the college's theater department may be experiencing the negative effects first.

March 8, 2016 - GSU students, faculty rally for education funding - Mychael Vanarsdale expects to get his bachelor's degree from Governors State University in May, but he said his nephew's plans to attend college in Illinois, possibly at GSU, are uncertain.

Vanarsdale, president of the student senate at GSU, said his nephew, a high school junior, is considering attending school out of state, and that he might not be the only one rethinking college plans in light of Illinois' current budget impasse.

March 8, 2016 - Gov. Rauner rips on Madigan, House Democrats for session break - Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is not doing his job.

March 8, 2016 - When State Politicians Can't Compromise - When Illinois failed to pass a budget back in July, Jack Thomas was sure the stalemate would end by August.

But August came and went, and with no end in sight, the clock kept ticking. Illinois’s Republican governor and Democratic Legislature still haven't come to an agreement, and Thomas, president of Western Illinois University, hasn’t seen state appropriations in eight months.

March 7, 2016 - Will County colleges uncertain about state student aid funding - For Rosalva Patino’s family, higher education is expensive for students and parents alike.

That’s why Patino, along with her husband, was registering her son last week for financial aid at a Free Application for Federal Student Aid workshop held at Joliet Junior College.

March 5, 2016 - Budget impasse forcing some students to question future - Benedictine University junior Samantha Triani is just two semesters away from completing her business degree in management and organizational behavior. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 5, 2016 - Dozens turn out for peace vigil protest against budget impasse - They occupied the sidewalk of Main Street at Illinois Avenue after noon Saturday, causing a small log-jam early on as drivers slowed down and craned their necks to see what was going on.

March 5, 2016 - Protests planned next week at JALC - Disheartened by 55 layoffs and frustrated by the impact of eight months without state funding, a group of John A. Logan College students are organizing a series of protests and petition-signing sessions next week.

March 4, 2016 - Illinois higher-ed budget crisis affects grant for low-income students - There’e a new victim in the higher-education crisis in Illinois, where funds have been frozen in a nine-month budget battle: the state-run Monetary Award Program (MAP).

March 4, 2016 - No Override for MAP Veto - The governor’s veto of a bill he said would add to the state’s deficit stands after the House failed to muster enough votes for an override.

March 4, 2016 - Dems pass another higher education funding bill - Before leaving the Capitol for a month, the Illinois House voted Thursday to approve a pair of bills that would spend $3.7 billion on higher education and social services and let the state off the hook for $454 million borrowed last year from special funds.

March 4, 2016 - GSU students plan rally for state funding - Graduate student Matt Gentry is asking fellow students at Governors State University to give up an hour of their day Monday to demonstrate their support for state funding of higher education. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 4, 2016 - Northwestern University takes aim at student loan debt - Northwestern University students who qualify for financial aid no longer will have to borrow to pay for their education, part of a plan announced Thursday to make the school more affordable and prevent students from being saddled with debilitating debt. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 3, 2016 - House Democrats fail to overturn Rauner veto of college spending bill - Democrats failed to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a bill to free up $721 million for community colleges and scholarships for low-income students in the latest political skirmish at the Capitol ahead of the March 15 primary election. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 3, 2016 - Illinois House unable to override MAP grant veto - Hours after the Illinois House failed to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a higher education funding bill, the chamber’s Democratic leader announced a new plan to fund universities, community colleges and grants to low-income students, along with several human services programs.

March 2, 2016 - U of I students gather at Capitol to encourage MAP grant funding - Juan Hernandez, a University of Illinois at Chicago student standing with dozens of other U of I students at the Capitol Wednesday, said he hoped the governor wouldn’t veto a Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant funding bill being debated two stories above him.

March 2, 2016 - WIU going ahead with mandatory furloughs and voluntary pay reductions - Officials at Western Illinois University say that with no MAP grant funding for students and state funding cuts, they're going ahead with plans to cut $20 million from the budget over two years, including mandatory unpaid days off.

March 2, 2016 - Jack Franks flips, but MAP grant override fails - A flipped vote from state Rep. Jack Franks was not enough Wednesday to override the veto of a bill aimed at funding community colleges and tuition grants.

March 1, 2016 - U.S. Sen. Durbin, state Sen. Sullivan address state budget impasse - The McDonough County Democratic Coalition Presidents Day dinner on Sunday was in honor of the retiring 47th district state Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville.

March 1, 2016 - Columbia’s MAP support plans pending - Columbia has remained silent while nearby competitor DePaul University has announced plans to cover students’ Monetary Award Program grants for the Fall 2016 Semester amid the state budget stalemate.

March 1, 2016 - Report: State Board Of Higher Education Finds Minority Enrollment Declining - A report to be presented Tuesday at the State Board of Higher Education's March meeting shows that minority enrollment in higher education is declining.

March 1, 2016 - Proposed legislation would restore MAP grants - State Rep. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, announced his intent to introduce legislation to temporarily suspend corporate tax loopholes to provide funding for higher education and the Monetary Award Program (MAP grants) for students.

March 1, 2016 - Western Illinois University Announces $20 Million Budget Cutting Plan - The administration announced the cuts mid-afternoon Friday. The cuts will take place over the next two fiscal years, beginning July 1, 2016. In addition, the university will make additional cuts for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

March 1, 2016 - Chicago State University rally held one day after layoff notices sent - A rally was held Sunday at Chicago State University to urge state lawmakers to take action so that public universities can receive their funding.

March 1, 2016 - Rauner appoints top Republican to university oversight job - Former House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego has been appointed to lead the Illinois Board of Higher Education, taking over the job at a time when the state's budget standoff has the schools threatening layoffs and closures.

March 1, 2016 - Effects of Chicago State's funding crisis run deep - Charles Preston, a senior at Chicago State University, wants to pursue a master’s degree after he graduates in December — if he can.

March 1, 2016 - 'Fund Our Future': NEIU Students Call on Gov. Rauner To End Budget Impasse - With no end in sight to Illinois' budget impasse, students, staff and faculty at Northeastern Illinois University rallied at the school's North Park campus Thursday with a united message for Gov. Bruce Rauner: "Fund our future."

February 29, 2016 - At Eastern Illinois University, my alma mater, a heartbreaking budget mess - My alma mater is making headlines lately, and not for reasons worth celebrating. I went to Eastern Illinois University, where I majored in (and fell in love with) journalism and was editor-in-chief of the daily student paper. It was a tremendous learning experience, both socially and academically.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 29, 2016 - Budget standoff in Illinois leads to no college funding for 8 months - Want to see what happens if the trend of state disinvestment in higher education continues to the extreme? Look no further than Illinois right now.
A budget impasse in the state between the state’s Republican governor and Democratic legislature has prevented the state’s public colleges and universities from receiving any state funding for eight months.

February 28, 2016 - Spring Breakers Stuck in Illinois as Colleges in Cash Flow Hell - Illinois’s failure to pass a budget is failing its colleges.
As the impasse between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic legislature nears its ninth month, shutting off hundreds of millions of dollars for higher education, public universities are raiding reserves, deferring projects and planning to lay off employees.

February 26, 2016 - Slowik: College students should sue the state over MAP grants - I have a suggestion for college students whose grant funding is being held hostage by the budget stalemate. Sue the state of Illinois.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 25, 2016 - New higher education measure faces familiar challenges - A new plan to free up $200 million for emergency funding to public universities and community colleges may get caught up in the same partisan gridlock that cut off state money for higher education in the first place.

February 25, 2016 - Students weigh their options while MAP grants are withheld - On Thursday prospective students met at Illinois Central College to find ways to get help to pay their college tuition, even if those MAP grants never return.

February 25, 2016 - Rauner Offers To Trade MAP Grants For Procurement Reform - Just days after vetoing a measure to help low-income college students, Gov. Bruce Rauner signaled he's open to another way to make it happen.

February 25, 2016 - Illinois budget battle leads Moody's to downgrade several state universities - An epic budget battle in Illinois led Moody's Investors Service to downgrade the credit rating of three of the state's public universities late Wednesday, the latest setback for schools that have been starved of funding for eight months and now face possible accreditation challenges.

February 25, 2016 - College students fear the worst as Illinois budget crisis wipes out higher education funding, MAP grants - Last week, students from across the state traveled to Springfield to hear Gov. Bruce Rauner’s annual Budget Address, and unfortunately many students have come to expect that their governor won’t be making higher education in the state a priority. Sadly, that expectation was fulfilled as Rauner continues to hold the state budget hostage, leaving Illinois’ higher education system unfunded since July 2015. In response to the governor’s budget address, over 200 students gathered for a rally at the Capitol, to share their stories about the devastating effects the budget crisis has had thus far and to urge the governor to pass a budget for higher education immediately.

February 24, 2016 - Calling funding cuts wrong approach, panel says higher ed should be a right - Mariane Magbanua fought back tears as she described the positive effect of higher education on her life. The daughter of immigrant parents, Magbanua is a first-generation college student, working toward a bachelor’s degree in public policy at DePaul University.

February 24, 2016 - DePaul Fronts Money For MAP Grants For Now, But Future Funding in Li - The more than 4,500 DePaul University students who rely on funding through MAP (Monetary Awards Program) are breathing easier after the university recently announced it would front the money for the state grants through the end of the 2015-16 academic year.

February 24, 2016 - Blackburn covering delayed grants for students - Blackburn College has joined others colleges and universities in Illinois taking actions to counter funding concerns resulting from an impasse over the state budget.

February 24, 2016 - Guest column: Budget impasse will leave lasting damage to Illinois' public universities - We urge Gov. Bruce Rauner and state legislative leaders to end the budget impasse that has crippled Illinois’ public colleges and universities and will result in lasting damage to the state’s economy. The time for political give and take in Springfield has expired; policymakers must compromise and provide sufficient and sustained funding to the state’s colleges and universities.

February 24, 2016 - SIU provost: Budget impasse 'will bleed Illinois of its future' - SIU is still waiting on state reimbursement of money spent to fund Monetary Award Program grants in the 2016 fiscal year.

February 24, 2016 - Rauner open to alternative way to get money to Chicago State, other schools - Gov. Bruce Rauner, under pressure over the dire funding situation at Illinois universities that has led Chicago State University to announce plans to shorten its school year and cancel spring break, said Wednesday that he's open to finding a way to get money to those schools.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 24, 2016 - IC freezing tuition during ‘tenuous’ time - Freezing tuition, fees and room and board rates and providing some financial help are among some things Illinois College trustees have approved to assist students next school year.

February 23, 2016 - Rauner open to alternative way to get money to Chicago State, other schools - Chicago State University announced Tuesday the elimination of spring break this year to ensure its students will finish the semester before the school may be forced to close down due to a lack of state funding.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 23, 2016 - Donna A. Treadwell: Why Illinois makes me ashamed - It is becoming increasingly difficult to admit I’m from Illinois. When traveling and people ask, I’ve considered saying I’m from Connecticut, Idaho, Washington or Maine. Anywhere other than from here.

February 23, 2016 - New bill introduced would fund higher ed; leaders speak to EIU's importance - State Rep. Reggie Phillips discussed a bill at an Eastern Illinois University media briefing Tuesday that would provide emergency funding to higher education institutions.

February 23, 2016 - Dunn: Rauner's FY 2017 budget proposal will lead to 'wholesale ending of programs' - The Southern Illinois University system will take a $40 million cut next year if Gov. Bruce Rauner’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal is enacted — a fact that SIU President Randy Dunn said could lead to a “wholesale ending of programs” at the university’s three campuses.

February 22, 2016 - Amid budget standoff, DePaul plans to cover state student aid - DePaul University said it will cover financial aid this fall for new students who apply in time for state assistance stalled by the Springfield budget impasse, a guarantee that goes beyond promises to currently enrolled students at DePaul and other schools.

February 21, 2016 - A Unified Voice Against the Way Things are being Handled in Springfield - Representatives from across the higher education spectrum gathered at Western Illinois University in Macomb to urge the state to provide funding for colleges and universities. But just hours afterward, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure (SB 2043) that would have funded MAP grants and provided at least a bit of income for the schools.

February 21, 2016 - MAP grant veto could force thousands of students out of college - College and universities say the loss of MAP grant funding is forcing students to make tough choices.

February 20, 2016 - Local Lawmakers respond to Gov. Rauner’s veto of MAP grant funding - State Senators Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) have voiced their displeasure in reaction to Governor Rauner’s veto of a spending plan for MAP grants.

February 20, 2016 - College Students Looking Elsewhere for School in Budget Crisis - Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill to fund the Monetary Award Program.

February 19, 2016 - Rauner Vetoes MAP Grant Bill - As expected, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill Friday that would have funded higher education for low-income students in Illinois.

February 19, 2016 - Statement from DePaul University president on Governor Rauner’s Veto of SB2043 - The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul University, issued the following statement about the Monetary Award Program after the veto of SB2043 by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

February 19, 2016 - Rauner Vetoes MAP Grant Money For Poor College Students, Says Cost Would "Explode" State Deficit - Low-income college students promised state help paying for tuition will continue to go without it. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has followed through on his pledge to reject funding for the Monetary Award Program.

February 19, 2016 - Rauner vetoes bill to free up $721M in college funding, including scholarships - Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday followed through on his vow to veto a measure that would free up $721 million for community colleges and scholarships for low-income students, saying again that the state can't afford to pay for it.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 19, 2016 - Elgin-area colleges frustrated by budget battle's hold on grant funds - Elgin-area college officials say they are developing a strategy for moving forward while funding for a state grant for low-income students continues to be uncertain.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 18, 2016 - Education Desk: Gov Recommends Slashin' Higher Ed (Again) - The budget that Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed yesterday recommends a 16 percent cut to higher education. This year's proposed cut sounds gentler than the 32 percent reduction Rauner recommended last year. But instead of being spread across higher education, virtually all of the pain would fall upon the state's universities.

February 18, 2016 - Illinois students rally against higher education spending cuts - Demonstrations at the Illinois state capitol on Wednesday saw hundreds of students, faculty and community members from eight of the state’s public universities urging the governor and legislature to end an eight-month budget battle to restore FY2016 funding for higher education programs and grants.

February 18, 2016 - Frerichs: Higher education ‘not a priority’ for Rauner - Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs thinks Governor Rauner left something out of his budget speech Wednesday: funding for higher education.

February 18, 2016 - Illinois Issues: Governor’s Budget Proposal Looks Past Current Crisis - Cast votes for tax increases, deep cuts to higher education, changes to the state’s Constitution that would threaten entrenched political power and business-friendly reforms that would cripple the power of unions? Or would you like to take your chances on what’s behind Door No. 2? These are the choices the governor gave to lawmakers for next fiscal year.

February 18, 2016 - Editorial: Charting "A Map toward the Future" - In case we haven’t beaten it into your head enough, Illinois doesn’t have a budget, and the ramifications are incredibly hindering.

February 17, 2016 - Bruce Rauner to lawmakers: Work with me on 2017 budget or give me power to do it myself - Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner used his annual budget address Wednesday to put two choices before legislative Democrats who control both houses of the state legislature:

The General Assembly can grant him, the state’s chief executive, the authority to make the cuts that will allow Illinois to spend what it’s bringing in, about $32.8 billion

February 17, 2016 - Parkland board OKs 11.74% tuition increase - Full-time, in-district students at Parkland College should expect to pay about $200 more per semester next year, after the board approved a 11.74 percent tuition increase on Wednesday night.

February 17, 2016 - Western students urge action on state budget - Quad-Cities Western Illinois University students waved signs Wednesday to raise awareness of how the state's budget impasse is affecting education.

February 17, 2016 - SIU students join fight for higher education funding - Students from across the state rallied at the State Capitol on Wednesday morning during Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget address, protesting the current and longest budget impasse in Illinois' history.

February 17, 2016 - Education Desk: Lawmakers Press Governor To Fund MAP Grants - Democratic lawmakers led a group of college students to the office of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday. They asked him to fund tuition grants promised to low-income students.

February 17, 2016 - Budget 'uncertainty' weighs on local communities - As Gov. Bruce Rauner presented his budget proposal Wednesday for the upcoming fiscal year, Elaine Maimon was more concerned about the still-unresolved stalemate over the current budget.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 16, 2016 - Lawmakers deliver MAP grant bill to Rauner, who vows veto - A bill that aims to fund Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for thousands of financially burdened students was sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office Tuesday.

February 16, 2016 - Bradley students advocate for MAP funding in Springfield - A group of Bradley University students joined their counterparts from across the state Tuesday to advocate for state lawmakers to fund the Monetary Award Program despite the ongoing budget impasse.

February 16, 2016 - 20,000 Postcards demanding College Grants delivered to Gov. Rauner - The “Fund Our Future” coalition, represented by college students from around the state, delivered 20,000 postcards to Governor Rauner demanding he restore funding for MAP grants.

February 16, 2016 - WIU Community Rallies for State Funding - Roughly 200 people marched through the Western Illinois University campus Tuesday afternoon. They wanted to make a public statement about their dissatisfaction with decision-makers in Springfield.

February 16, 2016 - Chance the Rapper Calls Out Rauner Over MAP Grants - Famed Chicago hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper took to Twitter Tuesday to ask Gov. Bruce Rauner not to veto the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant legislation.

February 16, 2016 - Students rally in Chicago to back funding bill - College students rallied at the Thompson Center, calling attention to what they say is a critical matter, a lack of funding and their lives hang in the balance.

February 16, 2016 - Loss of MAP grants could cost students more than money - Abigail Tochalauski doesn’t have a dream job. She has six.

“It just depends on the day,” said Tochalauski, a sophomore from Peoria studying anthropology and communication studies.

February 15, 2016 - With Budget Address Looming, Higher Ed Makes Funding Plea - Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to deliver his budget message to the Illinois General Assembly this Wednesday. In advance of that, interest groups are lining up to plead their case for state funding. On Monday, representatives of the state’s colleges and universities made one such pitch.

February 15, 2016 - State Grants For Schools Could Be Cut Due To Budget - Illinois has now gone eight months without a state budget.

With the lack of state dollars, college students are feeling the pressure. Financial aid programs, that are meant to help with the burden of costs, could soon be cut.

February 15, 2016 - Durbin, coalition warn of financial crisis in higher education - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and other advocates for higher education in Illinois on Monday urged legislators and the governor to end the state budget stalemate that has created a financial crisis for many colleges and their students.

February 15, 2016 - Employees will not see immediate cuts - Despite more than 200 positions remaining unfilled since September, NIU faculty and staff are not in immediate danger of being laid off because of the state budget impasse.

February 15, 2016 - Time Crunch on for Illinois College Aid - As many Illinois colleges continue to struggle with their finances during the state's budget impasse, college students are still being encouraged to fill out their financial aid forms.

February 12, 2016 - Twin Cities students demand their MAP grant money - Santina Wallace is a student at Illinois State University. Her boyfriend also used to go there. But when he couldn't get more grant money because of the state budget impasse he enlisted in the Army.

February 12, 2016 - Students, officials demand a fix for MAP funding - College students who formerly received state aid in the form of Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants say the lack of a state budget has become a vicious cycle, affecting more than just their finances.

February 12, 2016 - Speakers at NIU Rally Tell State Lawmakers: Get A Budget Now - DeKalb-area education leaders, students, and service providers held a rally Thursday at Northern Illinois University to send a message to state lawmakers: end the budget impasse.

February 12, 2016 - Chicago State students juggle doubt, debt as budget impasse stretches on - “If Chicago State University closes March 1, which some say is a possibility if the state budget crisis is not soon resolved, Paris Griffin stands to lose a $25,000 internship at Apple.

The senior, who grew up in Calumet City and now lives in Englewood, has plans to travel to Apple headquarters in California to work at the job training opportunity she received through the Thurgood Marshall Apple HCBU Scholars Program.”(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 11, 2016 - #FundEIU and all Illinois colleges and universities - I graduated from Eastern Illinois University in the spring of 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a concentration in photojournalism.

I bleed blue, and I love my school. But EIU, along with state universities and community colleges across Illinois, is in crisis.

February 11, 2016 - Urgent call for action issued at NIU budget stalemate rally - Without a state budget, the fiscal bloodletting continues for social services, state colleges and universities, and Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker said the impact is becoming irreparable.

February 11, 2016 - Education Desk: MAP Has History Of Cuts - As the state’s budget impasse enters its eighth month, college students who relied on state grants to cover part of their tuition are being told they may have to come up with the cash themselves. That’s just the latest blow to a program whose mission hasn’t been fully-funded in years.

February 9, 2016 - Sauk official: Don't delay; fill out student aid form now - Plan on attending college – any college – in the fall, and think you might need financial assistance? Officials are urging students to get their Free Application for Federal Student Aid form filled out, regardless of uncertainty surrounding the Monetary Assistance Program grant and other state funding.

February 9, 2016 - Southern Illinois leaders to Springfield: Fund higher education now - If the budget stalemate in Springfield goes on any longer, Southern Illinois leaders warned, the consequences will be dire.

February 9, 2016 - Dunn pushes for higher education funding - SIU President Randy Dunn made dire predictions Tuesday about the future of the state's public universities if Illinois' budget impasse does not end.

February 9, 2016 - Lake Land votes to cut 4 staff members - The Lake Land College Board of Trustees voted Monday evening to cut four staff members as the college continues to deal with a funding shortfall caused by the state's budget impasse.

February 9, 2016 - WIU now planning for 34 layoffs: Administration, faculty union encouraging voluntary donations to address budget crisis - Western Illinois University is planning 34 layoffs, but according to University Relations, the process may take up until June 30. The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees approved a staff reduction authorization at a special Jan. 25 meeting.

February 9, 2016 - Illinois Urges College Students To Apply For Financial Aid - Illinois officials say college students should continue to apply for financial aid, even though the state budget impasse has put grants for needy students on hold.

February 8, 2016 - College-accrediting agency sounds warning to legislators - A higher-education accrediting agency is warning Illinois lawmakers that the budget impasse could have "significant" consequences for the state's public colleges and universities.

February 8, 2016 - NIU, Kishwaukee College enrollment numbers down - Fewer students enrolled this semester compared with spring 2015 at Kishwaukee College and Northern Illinois University, which adds to the trend of enrollment at the colleges spiraling down.

February 8, 2016 - Chicago State University Students Protest Against Illinois Budget Stalemate - Chicago State University students and their supporters rallied at the Thompson Center Monday morning, demanding state action to avert a possible shutdown of the predominately black university due to the budget impasse.

February 8, 2016 - Illinois colleges facing enrollment challenges during state budget impasse - Colleges and universities in Illinois are facing unprecedented challenges as the state presses into an eighth month without a formal state budget.

February 8, 2016 - Moody’s: It’s not just credit ratings in danger at Illinois’ public colleges - Reports from credit ratings agencies on local governments don’t normally make for thrilling reading, but a Feb. 5 report from Moody’s Investors Service on Illinois’ public colleges has the makings of a real-life cliffhanger.

February 8, 2016 - Despite budget, financial aid still available for students in Illinois - Despite the budget stalemate, financial aid is available to college students in Illinois.

February 8, 2016 - Common questions people run into when filling out their FAFSA - The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is confusing for many students, but the good news is, there are people on both sides of the river to help you fill out your application.

In Iowa, there's the Iowa College Access Network, ICAN. In Illinois, there's the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, ISAC.

February 6, 2016 - State legislators, EIU alumni rally - The crowd that filled the Library Quad for Friday's Eastern Illinois University funding rally included state legislators, Eastern alumni, and other concerned community members.

February 5, 2016 - MAP grants bill awaits Rauner's signature - The Illinois General Assembly has passed a senate bill that would provide financial assistance to needy college students despite the state's ongoing budget impasse.

February 3, 2016 - IBHE creates Military Prior Learning Assessment Task Force - The Illinois Board of Higher Education has announced that a task force has been created to examine how military learning is recognized when it comes to awarding academic credit.

February 3, 2016 - Students should not be used in political fights - When the state budget stalemate is finally resolved, we must unite behind one message: Never again can we let students become collateral damage in political fights.

February 3, 2016 - Governor calls for purchasing changes to save money - Gov. Bruce Rauner is backing a plan to revamp the way the state buys goods and services, changes he says would save taxpayers more than $500 million a year and free up money for higher education and other services.

February 3, 2016 - Enrollment numbers down at SIU-C while SIU-E reports record enrollments - Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is reporting enrollment has dropped more than 5 percent for the spring semester.

February 3, 2016 - Examining the Procurement Process - The current procurement system in Illinois is an overloaded bureaucracy, ripe for abuse, and Governor Bruce Rauner wants reforms to save taxpayers money, savings the governor say could help cover costs for tuition assistance grants.

February 2, 2016 - More EIU layoffs, furloughs to come as budget impasse continues - As Illinois moves into its eighth month without a budget, Eastern Illinois University plans an estimated 200 layoffs of non-instructional employees -- as well as furloughing all administrative and professional staff additionally in March to make it through the spring semester.

February 2, 2016 - Higher Ed officials want Rauner to sign college grant measure - Higher education officials in the Southland aren't holding out hope that Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign a measure restoring low-income educational grants and money for community college as the schools continue to operate without state money.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

February 2, 2016 - Rauner: Delay won't change veto plans for higher-education bill - Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday said he still intends to veto a bill authorizing spending for community colleges and college grants despite a request from Senate President John Cullerton that he reconsider.

February 2, 2016 - State funding for NIU, Kishwaukee College remains in limbo - Local higher education officials are still in a funding quagmire after partisan tussling in Springfield last week still means no money flowing to their schools.

February 1, 2016 - The illusion of action - The big dogs in the state budget battle are Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan. But the small fries have a role to play, too.

February 1, 2016 - Why MAP Matters - In a room of college and university presidents recently, there was only one topic: what would the impact of Illinois' failed budget process be on higher education? More specifically, what about the $373 million Monetary Award Program (MAP), which provides need-based tuition assistance to 130,000 students in the state?

February 1, 2016 - Illinois GOP slams community college spending bill - Illinois Democrats last week approved $721.5 million for tuition grants and community colleges, a move Republicans called an empty promise because there's no budget and the spending measure likely will be vetoed.

February 1, 2016 - Illinois Governor, Senate President Spar Over Bill Funding MAP Grants - The President of the Illinois Senate, a Democrat, is encouraging Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to rethink his priorities on student aid legislation, but the governor was quick to repeat his promise of a veto.

February 1, 2016 - Senator's Plan For Higher Education Links Restored Funding To Procurement Reform - The budget stalemate has meant no state funding this year for state universities, community colleges and Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants. A central Illinois Republican says he has a solution.

February 1, 2016 - Uncertainty over MAP funding not hurting enrollments - Uncertainty over when — or if — eligible college students will receive grants through the state's Monetary Award Program is having a financial impact on many of those students, but it does not appear to affecting enrollment.

January 30, 2016 - Republicans offer own higher education bill - A day after Democrats in the General Assembly approved a bill to fund community colleges and grants to low-income students, two Republican state Senators proposed a new plan that would also fund public universities.

January 30, 2016 - Our View: Fix MAP mess as start to getting state back on track - On Wednesday, in his State of the State address, Gov. Bruce Rauner implored lawmakers to work together to achieve a "grand compromise."

January 29, 2016 - Illinois colleges are running out of cash amid state budget battle - Thirty teachers at Western Illinois University were laid off. Hiring is on hold at Kishwaukee Community College and faculty were asked not to travel. Chicago State University says it won't be able to pay the bills after March 1.

January 29, 2016 - Photo Poll: MAP Grants
Q: Why is receiving the MAP Grant important to you?
A: Not all financial aid pays for everything...

January 29, 2016 - A "MAP" Of How Higher Ed And Students Are Lost In Illinois' Political Battle - College campuses (and the politics behind them) are taking center stage in Springfield's festering stalemate.

January 29, 2016 - Democrats pass community college, MAP bill; GOP cites lack of funding - The Illinois House and Senate passed a bill Thursday that would fund grants for low-income college students and send money to community colleges, but it faces a likely veto when it reaches Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.

January 28, 2016 - House Dems pass MAP grant funding bill GOP calls a hoax - Democratic lawmakers on Thursday passed a Monetary Award Program, or MAP grant, measure they said will help university students and community colleges despite the lack of a budget — but Republicans called the bill an unfunded hoax on taxpayers.

January 28, 2016 - Democrats approve money for college scholarships despite Rauner veto threat - Money for community colleges and scholarships for low-income students became the latest front in the political battle at the Capitol, as Democrats on Thursday pushed through a measure to free up money, but Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vowed to veto it.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

January 28, 2016 - GOP raps MAP bill as 'gotcha politics' - In less than 24 hours, Democrats in the Illinois Legislature resurrected, amended and passed a bill funding community colleges and MAP grants for Illinois college students.

January 28, 2016 - Rauner expected to veto MAP funding again - Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to veto an appropriations bill for higher education that passed both houses in the Illinois General Assembly on Thursday.

January 28, 2016 - The push for school funding adequacy and equity - On Jan. 21 the Higher Education Coalition and members from the Springfield-based Faith Coalition for the Common Good visited the Statehouse, pushing lawmakers to recognize that education funding reform and potential cuts to the Monetary Award Program, also known as the MAP grant, are getting worse as Illinois continues to function with no budget in place.

January 28, 2016 - Plans emerge to fund higher education - The Statehouse has competing plans to deal with the funding crisis facing higher education in Illinois.

January 27, 2016 - We are letting political squabbles erode our university system. That's a problem. - We are all sensitive to economic changes in Illinois. When businesses want to come here, our state leaders roll out the red carpet. When businesses threaten to leave and take with them a few dozen or hundred jobs, the race is on to do whatever it takes to keep them.

January 27, 2016 - State budget cited in 40 percent cut on MAP grants at Lincoln College - Nearly 600 Lincoln college students were notified this week that 40 percent of thei rMAP grant awards will be cut for the current semester.

January 27, 2016 - JALC will front MAP grants this semester - John A. Logan College will front nearly $300,000 to pay for low-income students’ MAP grants this semester.

January 27, 2016 - Rauner's State Of The State Address Sidesteps Illinois' Blaring Fiscal Problems, Critics Say - Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his second State of the State address Wednesday, during the seventh month of the state budget impasse. Progress Illinois provides highlights from Rauner's speech and rounds up reaction to his agenda for the state.

January 27, 2016 - House bill could restore bulk of state funding for Sauk - Now in the second half of his first year as president of Sauk Valley Community College, David Hellmich has been busy. The school’s strategic planning is ongoing. The college has undergone renovation. New programs are being unfurled, and more are on the horizon. But they’re also at the mercy of the state’s budget impasse.

January 27, 2016 - Rauner tones down rhetoric in State of the State - In his second State of the State speech, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday toned down his combative rhetoric, instead speaking of “mutual respect” as he addressed a Democratic-controlled Legislature with whom he remains locked in a seven-month budget standoff.

January 27, 2016 - State legislators try to push higher education funding forward - As Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke about putting more money into classrooms in his State of the State address Wednesday, there are efforts within the General Assembly to reinstate higher education funding.

January 27, 2016 - Lack of state money could create CLC budget deficit - College of Lake County President Jerry Weber says a lack of state funding could lead to a budget deficit in the 2016-17 academic year.

January 27, 2016 - A look at the impacts of Illinois' budget impasse - Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is delivering his second State of the State address Wednesday during one of the most tumultuous times for Illinois in recent history.

January 26, 2016 - Lincoln College to Reduce MAP Grants - No state budget means students at Lincoln College who receive MAP grants will start receiving less money.

January 26, 2016 - State budget impasse ‘starving’ Illinois higher education - As Illinois heads into its eighth month without a budget, several public universities are bracing for layoffs, furloughs and spending freezes to stay open.

January 26, 2016 - Brown: Sad state of affairs getting worse by the day - No matter what Gov. Bruce Rauner tells the General Assembly on Wednesday, the state of the State of Illinois is bad and getting worse.

January 26, 2016 - Illinois budget stalemate causing real-world consequences - Neither side in the Illinois state budget standoff is likely to surrender its basic principles anytime soon. But somehow there must be room for the political newcomer, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, and the longtime Democratic legislative leader, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan of Chicago, to stop posturing and compromise on a budget. Too many people are being hurt.

January 25, 2016 - Rep. Brady unsure when MAP funding will pass - The ongoing state budget impasse has meant funding for Monetary Award Program grants has been locked up.

January 25, 2016 - Count the ways Illinois is falling apart - They are elderly men and women in need of adult day care. They are the mentally ill. They are alcoholics and drug addicts. They are children who have no home.

January 25, 2016 - Rev. Jackson urges student activism on higher ed funding crisis - At Northeastern Illinois University on Monday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson urged students to use the one major weapon at their disposal - the ballot - to combat legislators in Springfield who are jeopardizing higher education funding by not passing a state budget.

January 25, 2016 - Southern IL service leaders urge legislators to decide on state budget - On Monday, more than a dozen heads of social service organizations from across southern Illinois joined inside the Jackson County Health Department to explain their situation midst the state budget deadlock.

January 22, 2016 - Students Being Bruised by Illinois Budget Battle - Jacqueline Suriano has resorted to crowdfunding her college education thanks to the prolonged budget stalemate in the Illinois capital.

January 22, 2016 - UI covering $59.2 million in MAP grants; enrollment holds steady - Had the University of Illinois not agreed to dip into its reserves to cover state grants to low-income students, the student body would have gotten smaller this semester.

January 21, 2016 - Chicago State may go broke over state budget war - A university in Chicago's South Side is on the brink of running out of money as soon as March because of Illinois's budget impasse, providing the most prominent example yet of the consequences of the seven-month political standoff.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

January 21, 2016 - Coalition Warns Illinois Will Lose More College Students Due To Budget Chaos - Illinois colleges and universities have gone seven months with zero state funding – that includes funding of MAP grants that help poor students pay tuition. Now, some business and labor leader have joined students calling for lawmakers to resolve the budget stalemate.

January 21, 2016 - President of majority black university responds to Rauner attacks - Dear Governor Rauner,

I enjoyed meeting you personally as we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I especially appreciate the expression of support you offered to me regarding Chicago State University. In the spirit of engaging that support, I am writing in response to the memo issued by your Deputy Chief of Staff Mr. Richard Goldberg in hopes of clarifying any misstatements.

January 21, 2016 - Illinois paid lottery winners before college students - Some of Illinois' neediest college students are falling victim to the state's budget mess.

Thousands returned to school after winter break confused and worried about having to come up with a couple thousand dollars more for tuition this semester.

January 21, 2016 - Illinois Budget Impasse Halts Student Scholarships - More than 200 days have passed since the State of Illinois has operated on a budget. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic state legislative leaders continue to disagree on a solution, and while the fight goes on, state-funded schools are among the many services getting squeezed.

January 21, 2016 - Illinois faculty and students starting to feel the hurt as budget standoff hits six-month mark - Six months into the budget standoff, Illinois’ elected leaders have kept the public in the dark as to when they might start funding the grants and scholarships promised to college students.

January 21, 2016 - Education issues take center stage at Statehouse - From the state budget impasse’s impact on colleges and universities to a push to reform school funding statewide to a Republican-proposed takeover of Chicago Public Schools, education has taken center stage this week at the Capitol.

January 21, 2016 - Budget impasse has not affected UI student enrollment - Student Body President Mitch Dickey, senior in LAS, isn’t sure how he would pay for his last year of college if he doesn’t receive his MAP Grant. Despite Dickey’s involvement with the University he’s no less affected by the state budget impasse than the other 5,666 University students who receive a MAP, or Monetary Award Program, grant.

January 20, 2016 - IL Budget Impasse draws rise from Universities, higher college tuition - Students at Southeastern Illinois College will face a hike in tuition this year, which college leaders blame on the ongoing budget stalemate in Illinois.

January 20, 2016 - Northbrook businessman worries lack of education money will dry up talent pool - Northbrook resident and business owner Pedro Cevallos-Candau joined a chorus of advocates in Springfield Wednesday urging the legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner to provide state money for higher education, particularly scholarships for low-income Illinois students.

January 20, 2016 - Students call on Illinois lawmakers to end impasse, support higher education - Pleas to support higher education amid a budget crisis in Illinois go to the state capital Wednesday. Students and education officials call on legislators to end the impasse and invest in higher education.

January 20, 2016 - University of Illinois considers tuition freeze for instate students - University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen recommended on Wednesday that for a second straight year university trustees freeze tuition at current levels for incoming instate freshmen.

January 20, 2016 - Most colleges covering, for now, grants state fails to pay - Most suburban community colleges will float students money for grants that are tied up in Illinois' budget standoff, but at least one college says it's considering a tuition increase to help make up for a lack of state funding.

January 20, 2016 - Our View: Too much at stake in college funding impasse - Illinois’ ongoing budget crisis is putting a strain on our system of higher education, and it is important that our leaders in the legislature and the governor work to end this impasse.

January 20, 2016 - State universities: Illinois budget stalemate causing damage 'beyond repair' - With no money from the state in nearly seven months and its financial reserves almost depleted, Chicago State University says it will be unable to pay its employees come March unless money begins flowing again from Springfield.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

January 19, 2016 - Illinois students' futures rest in MAP funding appropriation - There are a number of weighty issues that members of the Illinois legislature must grapple with as they solidify a budget this year, but none will likely impact the state's future as much as the Monetary Award Program (MAP), which provides grants to Illinois students who attend public and private state colleges and universities.

January 19, 2016 - Illinois Budget Impasse Affects Overall College Enrollment, While Chicago State Univ. Faces Closure - State colleges and universities in Illinois have thus far seen 1,000 fewer students return for the second semester due to the budget impasse's impact on the Monetary Award Program, reports the Wall Street Journal.

January 19, 2016 - Budget battle to leave Chicago State University broke by March - Like all of Illinois’ nine public universities, Chicago State University is waiting for long-overdue state funding. Come March, however, the predominantly black school on Chicago’s South Side said it won’t have the money to pay its employees.

January 18, 2016 - Illinois Budget Deadlock Hits College Enrollments: More than 1,000 low-income students fail to return for second semester as grant funds freeze - The budget impasse in Illinois is beginning to depress enrollments at the state’s colleges and universities, as state money earmarked for low-income students remains tied up in a political stalemate that shows no signs of easing.

January 17, 2016 - March of victims of Springfield stalemate grows longer - Now we’ve lost General Electric.

This should surprise nobody. What business wants to move to a state so dysfunctional it can’t even agree on a budget?

January 15, 2016 - Illinois treasurer predicts no budget until November - Don't expect to see a state budget, including any new taxes, until after the November elections. The state's chief investment officer told an audience of St. Charles area business leaders this week that fiscal gridlock continues in Springfield because political campaigning is the only order of the day among lawmakers.

January 14, 2016 - Illinois Universities Brace For Financial Doomsday - Students and alums at Chicago State University say the school is running out of money. It’s a similar story at Northeastern Illinois University. President Sharon Hahs says her school is used to floating the state for four to six months each year.

January 14, 2016 - College kids struggle to survive as state lets them down - When I was growing up, a turning point in my family’s climb out of poverty came when my oldest brother took a fulltime job at 19. It’s a familiar immigrant story: He gave up his dreams and became a custodian at a school to help my parents keep a roof over our heads.

January 14, 2016 - Sauk students coping with life without MAP grant - Without her Monetary Award Program grant, Sauk Valley Community College nursing student Annette Cady is being very judicious about the number of No. 2 pencils she buys.

January 14, 2016 - What we’ve seen in Illinois state government is no way to reboot Illinois - What’s gone on with Illinois state government in Springfield for the last year certainly qualifies as a reboot, but not the kind we envisioned when this website debuted in November 2012.

January 14, 2016 - Dip in enrollment at Parkland 'a little bit better than I expected' - Parkland College enrollment so far this spring semester is down about 202 students compared with this point last year.

January 14, 2016 - Rauner Rebuffs Plea For MAP Grant Funds - Legislation filed Wednesday asks the state to provide $168 million owed to low-income college students who were promised MAP grants last fall.

January 14, 2016 - State Pressed To Fund Promised MAP Grants - Legislation filed yesterday asks the state to provide $168 million in tuition for low-income college students who were promised MAP grants last fall.

January 13, 2016 - Senators propose new bill to fund MAP grants - Illinois Senate Democrats have introduced new legislation to fund grants for low-income college students, but the measure appears to be a nonstarter for Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

January 13, 2016 - Joliet's McGuire proposes state grant reimbursement bill - A Joliet state lawmaker is seeking to reimburse colleges and universities that fronted $168 million to help students pay for classes last fall because their grant funding is tied up in state budget disputes.

January 13, 2016 - Proposed budget would reduce MAP Grant funding - The state still owes millions to the Monetary Award Program for low income college students. That aid has been caught up in the budget impasse. Lawmakers have filed several plans to fund MAP grants, but Governor Bruce Rauner's proposed budget would cut higher education funding by more than 30%.

January 13, 2016 - Senate Democrats call for funding college grants, compromise with governor - Illinois Senate Democrats took turns Wednesday decrying the lack of a state budget and calling for the legislature to approve money to pay for grants to low-income college students.

January 11, 2016 - Rauner: Get rid of court orders - As he marks the first anniversary Tuesday of his inauguration, Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday that one of his goals for his second year will be to remove court orders and consent decrees that obligate the state to spend billions on services and programs.

January 11, 2016 - IVCC to continue funding MAP grants this semester; future undecided - Illinois colleges put up $168 million of their own money to help students attend classes last fall because there's no state budget deal, but nearly half of those responding to a survey about the Monetary Award Program say they can't do it again this spring.

January 11, 2016 - ISU covers MAP grants this Spring, IWU and Heartland are not - Illinois State University is going to cover MAP grants for nearly 4,000 students this Spring, but other college students in Bloomington-Normal may have to come up with that money themselves unless a state budget is passed soon.

January 11, 2016 - A DROP IN AID: No MAP grant funding this semester for most of region's colleges - Attending one of Southern Illinois’s community colleges may be that much more difficult for financially-strapped students this semester.

January 11, 2016 - MAP Students Aren't The Only Ones Whose Grants Are In Limbo - When a police officer, firefighter or prison guard is killed or disabled in the line of duty, the state promises to provide their dependents with a college education. But the budget impasse has put that promise on hold, says Eric Zarnikow, director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

January 10, 2016 - Time to fill out your FAFSA application - If you have college students, it’s time for you and your family to make sure you get your free application for Federal Student Aid sent out.

January 10, 2016 - Funding Higher Education, Funding Illinois’ Future - A coalition of education, labor, and non-profit organizations is urging the governor and legislative leaders to cut the cost of higher education for students by providing more funding for its colleges and universities.

January 10, 2016 - Editorial: Illinois lawmakers leave college students in a financial bind - In Illinois, college students don’t rate as high as lottery players. If they did, lawmakers would by now be funding the state’s Monetary Award Program, which annually helps needy students in Illinois attend schools in this state.

January 10, 2016 - Joliet Junior College helps students overcome state grant struggles - Nearly half of Illinois colleges responding to a recent survey indicated they would not put up their own money again this spring to help students struggling to pay for their education with grant funding tied up in the state’s budget impasse.

January 8, 2016 - NIU, Rockford University pledge full support to MAP grant students - Northern Illinois University and Rockford University — the region's two four-year higher education institutions — are letting thousands of students who may or may not get millions of dollars in Monetary Award Program grants this year stay in school despite state budget uncertainties.

January 8, 2016 - Budget impasse stalls critical student aid - With a new semester just weeks away, many Illinois college students still don't have their anticipated financial aid.

January 8, 2016 - Waubonsee Community College working to fill state funding gaps - With the state still without a budget, Waubonsee Community College has decided to spend almost $2 million to keep some state-funded programs up and running.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

January 7, 2015 - Half of Illinois schools won't keep fronting MAP grant money - Illinois colleges put up $168 million of their own money to help students attend classes last fall because there's no state budget deal, but nearly half of those responding to a survey about the Monetary Award Program say they can't do it again this spring.

January 7, 2015 - Burdened by a Budget Impasse - Universities in Illinois are covering millions in state costs as politicians continue to debate a 2015-16 budget halfway into the fiscal year.

January 6, 2016 - Some area colleges not covering MAP grant cost for spring semester - As students prepare to head back to classes at area universities and colleges this month, the lack of a state budget could be directly impacting some students' decisions on whether to attend school this upcoming semester.

January 6, 2016 - Eric Zarnikow: Start applying for financial aid now - It's been a challenging six months for higher education in Illinois, but it's already time for students to start thinking about paying for college during the 2016-17 school year.

ISAC’s 2016-17 State Scholar announcement has appeared in over 50 media outlets to date

December 9, 2015 - From the community: Eighty-six Joliet Township High - Joliet Township High School is pleased to announce that 86 students from the graduating class of 2016 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.(A subscription may be required to view this article.)

December 8, 2015 - Woodland High School Illinois State Scholar winners Four Woodland High School seniors are 2016 Illinois Student Assistant Commission Illinois State Scholars...

December 7, 2015 - Area Illinois State Scholars announced The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has announced the names of the 2016-17 Illinois State Scholars.

December 7, 2015 - GCMS High School announces Illinois State Scholars Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School Principal Chris Garard recently announced 10 GCMS High School students from the graduating class of 2016 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.

December 4, 2015 - Forty-Four Collinsville High School Seniors Named Illinois State Scholars Forty-four members of the senior class at Collinsville High School have been named 2016-2017 State Scholar Finalists by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

See More