Friday, August 14, 2015 02:37 PM
CHAMPAIGN- As college students begin to head back to campus, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is circulating a petition to urge Illinois lawmakers to pass funding for an important state aid program.
“I urge legislators to put politics aside. These students are real people with real lives. We cannot afford to jeopardize their futures,” said Bennett.
Monetary Award Program (MAP grants) cannot be given to students until there is a state budget. More than 100,000 students across Illinois rely on MAP grants to afford higher education.
Some schools are unable to absorb the tuition cost while the budget impasse continues and are asking students to pay partial fees upfront as they wait for the budget impasse to end. Bennett doesn’t want students discouraged from returning to campus due the lack of promised financial aid.
“If these students could afford to absorb tuition costs and fees, they wouldn’t have qualified for state assistance in the first place,” said Bennett. “College affordability is a defining component in our state’s policies. We need to be working toward giving our young people the tools to graduate with success, not forcing them to miss out on valuable opportunities.”
Lawmakers will return to Springfield to take up legislative action on Wed., Aug. 19. Bennett will work with lawmakers to authorize funding for MAP grants.
Sen. Scott Bennett
52nd Senate District
Years served: 2015 - Present
Committee assignments: Agriculture; Appropriations II; Criminal Law; Gaming; Higher Education; Labor.
Biography: Bennett grew up in Gibson City, where four generations of his family worked on their family farm. He moved to Champaign-Urbana to attend law school at the University of Illinois after graduating from Illinois State University.