State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, is co-sponsoring House Bill 5020, which aims to attract more students to universities in Illinois by creating a four-year Monetary Award Program grant, which the Illinois General Assembly approved.
HB 5020 is meant to help reverse the trends of decreasing enrollment at most universities throughout the state, according to a news release.
“Schools outside Illinois can guarantee four-year MAP grants, financial aid packages that make a big difference when recruiting students,” Rezin said. “Illinois cannot make that guarantee currently, and that’s costing us students. This legislation would give the same toolkit to universities in Illinois when they make a pitch to students. That would help us compete for students.”
The bill would allow Illinois students who receive a MAP grant to have their grant renewal prioritized, rather than go through the first-come, first-served process every year. This would apply to all institutions of higher education in the state.
From 1991 to 2014, enrollment at Illinois public universities and community colleges decreased by 50,000 students, the release stated.
Since the 1960s, Illinois has been a net negative exporter of college students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The bill now is headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner.