Yesterday, State Representative Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) joined Northern Illinois University President Dr. Lisa Freeman, Governor JB Pritzker and other state and local leaders to highlight investments in higher education. Specifically those that have helped improve the funding stability for places like NIU and college affordability through MAP grants, the Monetary Award Program.
“As the child of a single Mother who waited tables to keep a roof over our head, the MAP grants I received while attending Northern Illinois University provided stable funding to allow generational change for my family and me,” said Rep. Keicher. “The MAP Grant Program is an investment that has the power to change long term outcomes, and our attention to funding for colleges and universities is what allows us to continue offering the promise of a better future to families in Illinois.”
Enrollment in public universities across Illinois is the highest it’s been in six years. At NIU, which has a student population of nearly 16,000, freshman enrollment was up nearly 7% this past fall. In contrast to the national trend, enrollment at Illinois community colleges is also increasing.
“Our colleges and universities are the most powerful tools in our arsenal for strengthening the Illinois of tomorrow,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Addressing the teacher shortage, training medical professionals, leading in the innovation sector… that’s progress that happens in these very halls. Investing in our higher education ecosystem opens doors to new careers, higher wages, and lifelong dreams – making new beginnings possible for all Illinoisans. It’s a smart investment I’m proud to make.”
“Improving and investing in our state’s public universities is a crucial priority that we can all agree on,” said State Senator Sue Rezin, (R-Morris). “It is vital for our state’s overall future that we ensure our public universities have the necessary means to remain competitive and provide more Illinois students with opportunities to attend our fine universities like Northern Illinois University.”