Illinois college students hold rally for grants funding (video)

By Xiao Lyu

Students from about 15 colleges and universities throughout Illinois rallied at the Thompson Center on Tuesday, asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to fund the Monetary Award Program, or MAP, that thousands of students rely on to help pay college tuition.

The event coincided with a similar rally in Springfield that took place at about the same time.

According to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, MAP grants totaled more than $350 million for the current fiscal year. But because of the state budget impasse, the grants have been suspended for more than six months. More than 125,000 students rely on MAP.

A bill authorizing  additional funding for higher education, including MAP grants, was sent to the governor’s desk on Tuesday, but it is unlikely that Gov. Rauner will sign the bill into law.

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Photo at top: Student leaders from universities in Illinois give brief speeches at the rally for MAP grants at theThompson Center (Xiao Lyu/ Medill)