Throng Of Students Protests At Capitol, Calling For University And MAP Grant Funding

Feb 9, 2017

About 200 students protested in the Illinois Capitol rotunda Wednesday.  They’re part of the Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education.

Credit iit.edu

The group wanted to show lawmakers the importance of funding colleges and universities, as well as MAP grants for students.  

One of the protestors was Kiasee Ray,  a freshman at Dominican University in River Forest. She says the MAP grant is the reason she's in college today.

“I’m the only salvation that my family has right now," she said. "Neither of my parents are employed and I’m working my behind off to even pay for my own tuition and not have to ask for them to come out of pocket for them.”

Senior Yozeli Montenegro says she worked all summer to help pay off the money she was supposed to get from the MAP program, and that her mother is still working to fill the gap.

“She works overtime, she works 12 hours a day," Montenegro said, "and then she worked extra days just to be able to pay it off because it’s the only way she could afford to.”

The budget package under consideration in the Senate would restore MAP funding to 2015 levels. This is the last time state government had a full budget. ISAC says there’s even greater need among students today.​

  • Illinois Public Radio's Tom Lisi contributed to this report.