JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC in the News

To date, ISAC’s 2018-19 State Scholar announcement has appeared in over 126 media outlets. Some examples are below.

December 22, 2017 - D219 Announces Illinois State Scholars - Niles Township High School District 219 is pleased to announce 175 students from the graduating class of 2018 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

December 18, 2017 - Sandwich Community High School Announces Illinois State Scholars - Sandwich Community High School Principal Tom Sodaro is pleased to announce that 13 Sandwich Community High School students from the graduating class of 2018 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.

December 11, 2017 - Hinsdale South students named Illinois State Scholars - Hinsdale South High School seniors were recently named Illinois State Scholars. The program recognizes high school students for outstanding academic achievement. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

December 10, 2017 - 293 Plainfield students named Illinois State Scholars - Two hundred ninety three District 202 high school seniors have been named 2018-19 Illinois State Scholars because of their superior academic potential. The 293 State Scholars is a new record-high for District 202.

December 7, 2017 - Illinois Student Assistance Commission Announces 2018-19 Illinois State Scholars - The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is pleased to announce the names of the 2018-19 Illinois State Scholars. 

December 7, 2017 - More than 100 Fenwick seniors named Illinois State Scholars - Thirty-five percent of Fenwick High School's senior class were among those named State Scholars in Illinois, according to the private high school.

December 6, 2017 - Illinois Student Assistance Commission Announces This Year's State Scholars - The State Scholars are honored yearly for exceptional academic achievement. They represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors from 737 high schools across the state.

December 27, 2017 - Tom Kacich: UI stands alone with enrollment increase - Illinois' more-than-two-year-long budget stalemate, which ended in July this year, clearly took its toll on the state's public higher-education system, enrollment figures show.

November 28, 2017 - Your Ultimate Guide to Federal Financial Aid, the FAFSA, and More - Here’s everything you need to know about applying for federal student financial aid and when you can expect to receive funding.

November 21, 2017 - Bowman: 'Difficult Conversations' Coming For Illinois Higher Education - Bowman was recently appointed executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. He’ll now be advocating for funding and scholarship money on behalf of all Illinois public universities.

November 9, 2017 - Illinois Student Loan Bill of Rights to Become Law - A student loan bill of rights will be going into effect in Illinois after the state’s House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to override a veto by Governor Bruce Rauner.

October 30, 2017 - State task force eyes improving adult education - Strengthening the transition from basic skills to post-secondary career training and increasing public-private partnerships are among the potential goals under consideration of a new statewide task force studying adult education.

October 23, 2017 - ISAC Hiring in the Quad Cities - A state agency is hiring recent college graduates to help more students to go to college.

October 23, 2017 - Illinois Higher Education Board Looks to Move Past Budget Impasse, Restore Confidence - Illinois' public colleges and universities have weathered the two year budget impasse and are once again expecting routine state aid payments.

October 12, 2017 - Enrollment numbers down at Will County colleges - The state’s ongoing budget problems and uncertainty over tuition aid for college students has taken a toll on Will County colleges and universities, some college administrators said.

October 10, 2017 - More CPS Students Enrolling In College, U. of C. Researchers Find - Researchers reported good news about Chicago Public Schools students Tuesday: More students are heading off to college compared to a decade ago.

October 10, 2017 - October Is College Changes Everything Month In Illinois - Joey McLaughlin talks with Managing Director of Communications at Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Lynne Baker about what students need to do to make sure they are getting all the financial aid they can get for college.

October 3, 2017 - Illinois Offers College Application Workshops This Month - The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is helping families with college-bound students as part of College Changes Everything Month.

October 3, 2017 - File FAFSA ASAP! - Parents of college students and high school seniors headed that way should be busy filling out financial aid paperwork — if they haven’t already.

October 2, 2017 - Getting out: Many students leaving Illinois to attend college - Illinois has the second-highest rate nationally of college freshmen choosing to leave the state to pursue higher education — a mark it hit even before the state’s two-year budget impasse — and preliminary figures this fall suggest the numbers continue to look grim.

October 2, 2017 - Public universities increasingly out of reach for Illinois’ low-income students - In 1991, I was admitted to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. My mother worked as a telephone operator and didn’t have the money to pay the $3,000 in yearly tuition. But the cost wasn’t a barrier for me, because I was considered a low-income student and qualified for financial aid.

October 2, 2017 - College degrees are out-of-reach for many low-income Illinois students - Illinois’ in-state college tuition and fees ranked fifth highest in the U.S. last year, and a new report says those costs are a major reason that degrees are increasingly out-of-reach for low-income students.

September 27, 2017 - Blackburn College Makes Tuition Promise To Local Students - Blackburn College in Carlinville is providing an opportunity for lower income students from Macoupin County. Those from families earning less than $60,000 a year can attend the college for free.

September 24, 2017 - Ralph Martire: Illinois lags in making higher education a priority - Much consternation has recently been expressed over declining student enrollment in Illinois' public universities, and for good reason.

September 22, 2017 - Guest Column: Let’s help Illinois get back on track with ‘College Changes Everything’ month - The two-year budget impasse had a serious impact on the state, and college students and those planning to attend were among those who faced significant uncertainty.

September 22, 2017 - Dietz: ISU endured budget impasse, looks to future - Illinois State University President Larry Dietz on Thursday thanked students and faculty for enduring two years without a state budget and shared plans for the future of the university.

September 13, 2017 - Illinois Is Still Losing People—Especially College Students - While other states are poaching our high-school students with high-value, low-cost higher education, the state has cut funding for its economic and intellectual anchors with predictable results.

September 12, 2017 - Falling public university enrollment shows effects of state budget impasse - Barely removed from a two-year state budget stalemate, Illinois' public universities are continuing to feel the sting.
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September 5, 2017 - ‘Going Mobile’ in Illinois Creates 400% Time ROI - It’s often believed the public sector lags in digital transformation, especially now with mobility standing as a key pillar of enterprise technology. That’s not the case for the State of Illinois, which has plunged headfirst into mobile transformation, both for its citizenry and employees.

August 15, 2017 - MAP grants provide relief for NIU students - University spokesman says MAP grants should be available on time - In her first year at Northern Illinois University, sophomore chemistry major Racquel Vonch of Joliet was financially secure enough to survive without the assistance of a Monetary Award Program grant.

August 6, 2017 - Loyola program opens college doors for vulnerable students - Loyola University Chicago was Blanca Rodriguez's dream school. The Jesuit institution's $42,000 tuition was out of the question for her family, but Rodriguez will soon be a graduate of a Loyola school anyway thanks to a program for low-income students designed to get them halfway to a bachelor's degree with little or no debt.
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July 20, 2017 - Despite budget woes, higher ed pros continue their work - Despite very real financial challenges, I think reports about the demise of higher education in Illinois are premature.

July 19, 2017 - State Budget Boosts MAP - The new state budget will fund Illinois colleges and universities at the level of funding they received in 2015 — minus 10 percent. But there’s one area of higher education that got a boost.

The Monetary Award Program, known as MAP, provides grants of up to $4,700 to low-income college students. The two-year budget impasse shone a bright light on the program, as these students spoke out about how the lack of funding threw their lives into chaos. Lawmakers responded by increasing the amount going to MAP scholarships by 10 percent in the new state budget.

July 17, 2017 - Illinois’ new state budget puts SIUE on firmer financial footing - Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville is planning to boost salaries, launch new academic programs and continue renovating buildings thanks to lawmakers finally passing a state budget.

July 16, 2017 - Illinois college students relieved MAP grants available again - Emma Sheikh has taken many steps to get the degree she’s paying for herself at Columbia College a whole year early — before she can legally drink a beer.

July 16, 2017 - With Illinois budget deal secured, public universities still face challenges - For the first time in more than two years, Illinois' public universities can start the school year with the promise of state money from Springfield.
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July 14, 2017 - Elgin Community College to get state support for MAP grants - With a new state budget, Elgin Community College no longer has to use its cash reserves to pay for unfunded tuition grants for low-income students.
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July 13, 2017 - State releases funds for EIU - State Comptroller Susana Mendoza toured Eastern Illinois University's campus on Thursday and discussed the recent release of $5.6 million in funding to EIU following the end of the state budget impasse last week.

July 13, 2017 - Grants For Low-Income College Students Finally Begin To Flow With New State Budget - Now that Illinois finally has a budget, low-income college students who were promised state grants to help cover tuition for this coming school year will get their money in time for classes this fall, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission confirmed on Thursday.

July 10, 2017 - Picking up the Pieces in Illinois - College and university leaders are happy to see the first state budget in two years, but many prepare for less state support in the future and confront lingering impacts of cuts and uncertainty.

July 7, 2017 - Illinois Gets a Budget After 2-Year Impasse - The Illinois House of Representatives voted Thursday to override a gubernatorial veto of a package of budget bills, ending a 736-day standoff that had left the state's higher education institutions slashing expenses and scrambling to compensate for uncertain funding streams.

July 6, 2017 - As Illinois Budget Impasse Ends, So Does a ‘Nightmare of Total Uncertainty’ for Its Public Colleges - College officials in Illinois breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday as a historic state-budget standoff came to a dramatic end. By a margin of three votes, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives successfully overrode Gov. Bruce V. Rauner’s veto of a spending bill for the 2018 fiscal year, giving Illinois its first budget in more than two years.

July 6, 2017 - NIU Budget Benefits Include Retroactive Funding For MAP Grants, Unpaid Bills - Funding provided under the new Illinois budget plan will benefit Northern Illinois University in several ways, Acting President Lisa Freeman said in a campus-wide email moments after the veto override was announced Thursday.

July 6, 2017 - What Happens Now That Illinois Has a Budget - After more than two years of Illinois’ historic stalemate, lawmakers voted to override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes of an income tax hike and $36 billion spending plan, putting a budget in place.

July 4, 2017 - Illinois Senate votes to override Rauner veto of income tax hike, budget - Illinois lawmakers are one crucial step away from ending the record state budget impasse following a flurry of activity on Independence Day that saw the Senate override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a tax hike and spending plan.
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July 1, 2017 - Illinois' higher ed woes benefit Indiana State University - Admissions from Illinois are up 50 percent from this time a year ago.

June 30, 2017 - Saint Xavier University Owed $6.4 Million In State Student Aid Payments - Illinois owes Saint Xavier University $6.4 million in student aid payments, or 10 percent of the Mount Greenwood school's overall budget.

June 29, 2017 - Killeen OK with proposed cut for UI as long as state gets budget - Lawmakers scrambling to put together a long-awaited budget deal this week have drafted several options that would cut the University of Illinois' annual appropriation by up to 10 percent; two would shift sizable pension or health care costs onto the school.

June 29, 2017 - Impasse could harm university accreditation; ISU sees no 'imminent risk' - The agency that accredits colleges and universities in Illinois has warned the governor and legislative leaders that the continued budget impasse could have “accreditation consequences,” but officials at Illinois State University don't see an “imminent risk” for ISU.

June 27, 2017 - FAFSA Filings Down Significantly In Illinois - The volume of applications in Illinois for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is down about 14 percent from last year, according to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

June 27, 2017 - Budget impasse could have 'accreditation consequences' for Illinois colleges and universities - The regional accrediting agency responsible for assuring the quality of colleges and universities, including Southern Illinois University, sent a letter this past week to the governor and legislative leaders warning them that there could be “accreditation consequences” if a budget deal is not reached in short order that provides adequate financial support for Illinois institutions.

June 26, 2017 - Illinois history comes calling through new app - Illinois visitors can take a deeper look at all the history the state has to offer thanks to an app unveiled by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) recently.

June 23, 2017 - Oakton foundation approves $1.3 million in scholarships, grants - The Oakton Community College Educational Foundation approved the disbursement of more than $1.3 million in funding to cover scholarships and grants for fiscal year 2018, which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.

June 22, 2017 - New Illinois Guidelines Aim to Boost College and Career Readiness - Grade-by-grade learning standards used throughout Illinois already let students know if they’re ready for high school and on track to graduate. But new state guidelines adopted this month will help kids get ready for life after 12th grade – whether that’s picking a college or finding a job.

June 22, 2017 - Illinois adopts new framework for preparing students for postsecondary education, careers, and financial aid - The State of Illinois has adopted a new Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework that outlines what students should know and actions they should take from middle school through 12th grade to select the right postsecondary option, prepare for careers, and access financial aid opportunities.

June 16, 2017 - Students, professors testify on impact of Illinois budget stalemate - Recounting personal stories of how the Illinois budget impasse has affected them, students, professors and business owners testified before the House Appropriations Higher Education Committee on Thursday afternoon about how their lives have changed since the state last had a budget.

June 15, 2017 - University students detail pain of budget stalemate - Illinois university students, professors and staff members pleaded with Illinois House members Thursday to get back to the business of funding state higher education, as legislators prepare to return to Springfield to try to break a historic gridlock over the state budget.
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June 15, 2017 - WIU Says It Won't Be Defined By Budget Stalemate - State spending on public higher education in Illinois has dropped precipitously during the past two years as the state has operated without a budget.  But the president of Western Illinois University said the school will not allow itself to be bogged down by the budget stalemate.

June 8, 2017 - Community Colleges: 'Can't Keep Pulling Rabbits Out Of Hats' - The ongoing budget impasse has been particularly difficult for Illinois' institutions of higher education, which have received a mere fraction of their usual state funds.

May 31, 2017 - By the numbers: The price and pain of no budget in Illinois - On the 702nd day in Illinois without a budget, the state Legislature and governor again did nothing.

May 28, 2017 - Without a Budget, ‘That’s It’: Weekend State Budget Update - Absent a state budget, it will be impossible for Chicago State University to cover low-income students’ Monetary Award Program tuition waivers. The Golden Apple teacher development program will “go dark.” The state agency that oversees elections—and the online voter database that was cyber-hacked last year—warns it will cut itself off from the internet, as Illinois is so behind on paying the bills, its virus-protection service will be terminated.

May 22, 2017 - Students Have Become 'Collateral Damage' in State Budget Battle - “It’s time for the budget impasse to end,” said Elaine Maimon, president of Governor’s State University, as she sat in her office with the clock ticking down both on graduation and the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly. Facing a May 31st deadline there is no budget deal for the coming fiscal year and serious questions remain for the financial stability of the state’s public university system.

May 22, 2017 - Pulling no punches: Illinois awaits budget - For the third year in a row, the three men at the center of Illinois politics are circling inside the Capitol, and nobody is pulling punches.

In one corner is Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, and in the other are Democratic leaders Michael Madigan and John Cullerton. The goal: Pass a budget before the end of session on May 31.

May 17, 2017 - Small, Mid-Sized Universities Get Extra Hit From Illinois Budget Impasse - Higher education has been among the areas feeling the state budget impasse as funding has been cut. It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees and, in some cases, close for several days.

May 16, 2017 - CLC students could benefit from Pell grant expansion, officials say - College of Lake County student Keri Bush credits summer classes with allowing her to graduate on time this spring and head off to Illinois State University this fall.
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May 15, 2017 - Oakton Educational Foundation approves $1.3 million to fund scholarships and grants - The Oakton Community College Educational Foundation approved the disbursement of more than $1.3 million in funding to cover scholarships and grants for fiscal year 2018, which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018.
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May 9, 2017 - Northern Illinois University reducing 150 staff positions, including 30 active employees - In an effort to cut expenses leading into fiscal 2018, Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker announced in an email that there will be 150 staff position reductions, including the elimination of 30 active positions.

May 4, 2017 - Federal Grant to Help Hoopeston Area Middle School - The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has announced the state will receive $18.6 million dollars in federal funds to help support college readiness.  Hoopeston Area Middle School is one of 25 middle schools and 25 high schools in Illinois that will share in the funding over the next seven years.

April 26, 2017 - David W. Tretter: State higher education being devalued - Drive down Main Street in Decatur and you would think it would be hard to miss nearly $200 million on a couple of pieces of prime real estate. Yet that’s exactly what seems to be happening at the state Capitol these days.

In his latest budget address, Gov. Rauner again proposed cuts to higher education. He called for a small increase in funds for the Monetary Award Program, but MAP grants haven’t been funded this year. The last two years of devastating funding cuts to MAP grants and operating funds for Illinois colleges and universities have been only an extreme example of 15 years of defunding, devaluing and dismantling this state’s once nationally ranked higher education system.

April 26, 2017 - MAP Grant Funding In Jeopardy Once Again - As the semester closes, students are looking toward next year’s plans — including how they’ll pay for tuition. But the Illinois budget impasse is leaving the fate of Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, an important part of student financial aid, uncertain yet again.

April 21, 2017 - ISAC Exec Director Eric Zarnikow: Start Planning for College Early - Smart Money Week kicks off Monday with financial tips and suggestions to make your money work for you. Today we're discussing jump starting college savings accounts and why now is the best time to do it.

April 21, 2017 - Take Control of Your Finances! Participate In Money Smart Week® - With the lengthy budget delay in Illinois, funding for many state grant and scholarship programs is still in limbo, and financial uncertainty has become a daily obstacle for many students in Illinois.

April 20, 2017 - Illinois and Everyone Else: Support for public higher education rose in 33 states and declined in 17 in 2016 -- including a massive drop in Illinois. - It’s impossible to examine state higher education finances in 2016 without separating the collapse in Illinois from a more nuanced picture across the rest of the country.

April 18, 2017 - Getting smart about college planning - College commencements are just weeks away, and many graduates will leave with significant student loan debt. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, graduates of Illinois colleges and universities in 2015 who borrowed to finance their education had an average student loan debt of about $29,000.

April 17, 2017 - Monmouth College guaranteeing MAP grants for 2017-18 school year - Monmouth College said they will front the costs of MAP grants even if the state fails to fund student financial aid for next school year.

April 13, 2017 - Unfunded MAP grants cause concerns - Financial award letters are going to college students and students-to-be, notifying them of the type of assistance they will receive for the 2017-18 school year, including their “estimated” grant from the state's Monetary Award Program.

April 11, 2017 - Social media contest to promote budget awareness - To raise broader awareness of the statewide budget impasse, Eastern’s chapter of University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) is sponsoring a student social media campaign competition called “Education is a Human Right.”

April 10, 2017 - Still waiting: University funding cloudy as talk turns to FY18 - As Illinois State University officials prepare to testify in Springfield on Thursday about their fiscal year 2018 budget request, they are still waiting to see what will happen with funding for the current fiscal year.

April 5, 2017 - NIU May Consider Staff Reductions Amid Budget Impasse - Northern Illinois University's president says the institution may have to consider staff reductions if there isn't a quick resolution of the state budget impasse.

April 5, 2017 - Democrats start moving stopgap state budget despite clear hurdles - Illinois House Democrats on Wednesday advanced a plan to rush more than $815 million to state universities and social service providers, but that money might not arrive anytime soon because Gov. Bruce Rauner criticized the proposal and Senate Democrats still are working on their own plan.
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April 4, 2017 - Illinois State students to meet with Illinois legislative leaders - On Wednesday, the Illinois Board of Higher Education Student Advisory Committee's Lobby Day will take place at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

Students from colleges and universities across Illinois will travel to Springfield to both advocate and lobby for higher education appropriation funding, MAP Grant funding and a balanced budget.

March 22, 2017 - Legislators react to Joliet Junior College placing tuition hike blame on state - On March 14, the Joliet Junior College Board approved a base tuition increase of $19 per credit hour, increasing the price per credit hour to $144 after fees are included.

March 21, 2017 - Our opinion: Higher ed leaders want, need state budget - When it comes to the ongoing state budget stalemate, just about every group has a story to tell. Social service agencies, local school districts, businesses that go unpaid for months on end, public employee unions — the list goes on. Throw higher education onto the pile, too.

March 18, 2017 - Start saving for college with a prepaid tuition program - Eric Zarnikow, Executive Director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, talks with WTAX’s Will Stevenson about MAP grants and the lack of a state budget, but also about “College Illinois!”, the 529 Prepaid Tuition Program ISAC administers.

March 18, 2017 - Illinois Universities Feel the Brunt of State's Fiscal Woes - With the budget stalemate in Illinois in its 21st month, public universities in the state are going beyond belt-tightening to deal with a funding drought that has no end in sight.
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March 9, 2017 - EIU leader, others testify before state panel - Eastern Illinois University's president, along with other state university presidents, indicated to the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee on Monday that there is little more from their budgets that can be cut.

March 9, 2017 - Dietz: Impasse could lead to higher education 'disaster' - With the failure of the so-called “grand bargain” to resolve Illinois' budget stalemate, higher education officials are expressing concern over what comes next.

March 8, 2017 - State universities asked to ‘tighten belt’ to fill possible deficit - Representatives from the nine public universities and three higher education agencies met with the Senate Committee on Higher Education Tuesday and were asked how they can “tighten their belts” in order to fill a proposed budget deficit.

March 7, 2017 - Students concerned about Governors State tuition increase, program cuts - Rocio Carbral is a junior majoring in health administration at Governors State University in University Park.
But the 26-year-old single mother said she fears the school's plan to raise tuition by 15 percent will strain her financially. (A subscription may be required to view this article.)

March 4, 2017 - Local colleges in a bind again over unfunded MAP grants - Delayed state funding for higher education continues to plague local colleges and universities, forcing many again this spring to replace promised Illinois Monetary Award Program grant funds with institutional money.

February 28, 2017 - Illinois Senate Approves Portions of 'Grand Bargain' - The plan, which still requires approval from the Illinois House and Gov. Bruce Rauner, would also fund Monetary Award Program grants for low-income students in the state.

February 28, 2017 - Wintrust Business Lunch 2/28/17: Presidential Speeches, Powerful Workouts, & College Tuition - The market is preparing itself for President Trump’s speech tonight detailing his plan for the economy, and Jon Najarian (CNBC Contributor) told us a little bit about how he approached the late morning market drop. Andrew Herrmann (Sr. Editor at DNA Info) told us about a West Loop bed and breakfast that will continue to develop the bustling neighborhood, Suzanne Muchin (Co-Host of The Big Payoff) told us about one of the most powerful workouts in the country, and Eric Zarnikow (Executive Director of The Illinois Student Assistance Commission) taught listeners about how a prepaid tuition program for college might be best option through the College Illinois! program.

February 17, 2017 - Gov's Proposal Makes No Cents For Current MAP Students - Low-income college students have a glimmer of hope now that Governor Bruce Rauner has included money for Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants, in his budget plan. But students already in school may not enjoy the benefit.

February 17, 2017 - Rose may try again for MAP grant limits - Rebuffed three times before by his legislative colleagues, state Sen. Chapin Rose said Thursday that he may again try to prohibit state Monetary Award Program grant money from going to students who attend for-profit schools such as DeVry University.

February 16, 2017 - 12 fast facts about Gov. Rauner's budget plan - Gov. Bruce Rauner used his third budget speech Wednesday to break his silence on the Senate's "grand bargain" and say he is against raising sales taxes on food and medicine and wants a permanent property tax freeze to compensate for a permanent income tax increase.

February 16, 2017 - Gov's MAP Grant Proposal Leaves Students Hanging - Eric Zarnikow is in charge of Illinois’ program to help low-income students pay college tuition, known as MAP grants. He cheered yesterday when Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed increasing MAP funding by 10 percent, saying it could accommodate 12,000 more students, or increase the size of the grants.

February 15, 2017 - A look at how Illinois' budget fight has affected residents - The fight over Illinois' state budget has been directly felt by more than 1 million residents, from people with disabilities to seniors and college students. It also has exacerbated the state's already pathetic financial situation.

February 15, 2017 - University Center Receives Innovative Initiative Award - The University Center of Lake County received the Innovative Initiative Award from the Illinois Council on Continuing Higher Education (ICCHE) at ICCHE's 42nd Annual Conference on Thursday, February 9, 2017. The award recognized the University Center's "First Generation College Outreach Program."

February 15, 2017 - ‘There is no way to justify this’ - Western Illinois University hosted the Center for Tax and Budget Accounting’s (CTBA) Executive Director Ralph M. Martire and Research Associate Danielle Stanley to present their findings on the impact of the ongoing issues with the state budget.

February 15, 2017 - Gov. Rauner bemoans 'automatic spending' during budget address - During an address to the Illinois General Assembly, Gov. Bruce Rauner said Illinois cannot get a handle on spending until lawmakers take on "automatic spending categories" such as pensions and Medicaid.

The first-term Republican gave his third budget address Wednesday to a joint session of the General Assembly and called for a "hard cap" on spending to force frugality, outlining spending priorities for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

February 14, 2017 - State budget battle overshadows legislative lunch - Over lunch Tuesday, three state legislators talked with Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce members about economic development — once Illinois finally gets a budget.

February 14, 2017 - Eastern spring enrollment follows fall's lower numbers - Fall enrollment numbers are historically higher than numbers in the spring, and this year was no different, according to Eastern Illinois University spring enrollment numbers.

February 9, 2017 - Throng Of Students Protests At Capitol, Calling For University And MAP Grant Funding - About 200 students protested in the Illinois Capitol rotunda Wednesday. They’re part of the Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education. The group wanted to show lawmakers the importance of funding colleges and universities, as well as MAP grants for students.

February 9, 2017 - NEIU Struggling To Keep Doors Open Amid State Budget Stalemate - Northeastern Illinois University students, faculty and staff converged on Springfield Wednesday along with their counterparts from across the state to rally at the capital for higher education funding.

February 9, 2017 - Kishwaukee College enrollment decline continues this spring - Overall enrollment is down about 6.7 percent at Kishwaukee College compared with the previous spring semester, continuing a downward trend that can be contributed in part to a lack of state funding, officials said.

February 9, 2017 - Bradley students lobby for MAP grants in Springfield - Students relying on MAP grants say their education may be in jeopardy if lawmakers do not figure out the funding. Wednesday, they took their message to Springfield.

February 8, 2017 - Higher education supporters hold rally in Springfield - Supporters for higher education across the state made the journey to Springfield Wednesday, despite a blizzard, to rally for higher education and Monetary Award Program Grant funding.

February 8, 2017 - Bradley University students push for MAP grant funding - A group of Bradley University students headed to the state Capitol on Wednesday morning to bring a message to Peoria-area legislators: State funds to help needy college students can be the make-or-break funds for keeping kids in school and helping them get a degree.

February 8, 2017 - College Students Rally at Statehouse - College students rallied in the state Capitol rotunda Wednesday. They’re urging lawmakers to restore state funding to universities and community colleges.

February 3, 2017STATE OF THE STANDOFF: Budget stalemate leaves some universities 'running on fumes' - Public community college and university officials in Illinois are walking a tightrope, trying to emphasize the harm being done by the ongoing state budget stalemate without scaring off potential students and making matters worse.

January 27, 2017Without MAP, Students Have Nowhere To Go - The ongoing state budget impasse, now in its second year, has been particularly tough for low-income college students who rely on the state’s Monetary Award Program -- known as the MAP grant -- to help cover tuition.

January 26, 2017 - The New Financial-Aid Timeline: How Colleges Are Adjusting - The "early Fafsa" could help students make better college decisions, but admissions officials are still sorting out what the change means for them. (premium subscription required)

January 24, 2017 - Universities could see funding restored in Senate budget deal - Public universities in Illinois would see state funding restored to the level it was before the start of the ongoing budget impasse under a bipartisan “grand bargain” being considered in the state Senate.

January 10, 2017 - Senate holds off on budget deal vote; House passes temporary plan - The Illinois Senate won’t vote on a proposed bipartisan compromise to end the state’s 18-month budget standoff until after the new General Assembly takes office on Wednesday.

January 10, 2017 - Pritchard calls for public pressure as schools, agencies face more uncertainty with no state budget - Members of Illinois’ 100th General Assembly will be sworn in Wednesday and tasked with a job that lawmakers have been unable to accomplish for a year and a half – pass a state budget for an entire fiscal year.

January 8, 2017 - Illinois Senate puts forth budget framework in final 2 days - The Illinois Senate is poised to attempt a state budget solution on its own as the General Assembly returns to Springfield on Monday for the final two days of session.

January 7, 2017 - Local colleges brace for MAP grant cutbacks
- The lack of a state budget could impact low-income students this academic year, and colleges have begun planning for how to assuage the situation if that happens.

January 3, 2017 - Local colleges continue to struggle with uncertain state funding - As Illinois enters 2017 without a budget in place, higher education institutions such as Joliet Junior College continue to struggle with the uncertainty of state funding.

January 3, 2017 - Stopgap budget set to expire, returning Rauner-Madigan standoff to where it was last summer - A stopgap budget expires Sunday, and with it state government funding for public universities, social service agencies that provide care for the elderly and disabled, and day-to-day expenses such as electricity for buildings.
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