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Gov. Pritzker visits Heartland Community College to highlight proposed higher education investments

Written by on March 28, 2023

NORMAL, Ill. – Governor J.B. Pritzker recently visited Heartland Community College to discuss the state’s commitment to higher education investments across the state.

Governor Pritzker was joined by Lieutenant Governor Stratton,  Senator Dave Koehler, Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille, Trustee Rodney Billerbeck II and students who received financial aid from the Illinois MAP grant program.

Governor Pritzker announced that his administration and the state government will continue their efforts to ensure that students will be able attend community college tuition fee free. 

“Over the last four years, my administration has been laser focused on righting Illinois’ fiscal ship,” said Governor Pritzker. “Because of that work, our state can re-direct funding back into opportunity for Illinoisans, all while maintaining a balanced budget. Illinois is poised to make history, making it possible for every working-class resident to get the degree, training, and skills they need tuition fee and fee free. With an additional $100 million directed to the MAP grant program, a student can pair our state support with a federal Pell grant and pay for college with no loans or debt required.”

Vice President of Public Information and Communication with Heartland Community College, Steve Fast, spoke on how the funding of such aid would improve the academic careers of the students attending Heartland.

“It gives opportunities, and improves chances for students to succeed in their schoolwork,” said Fast.

At Heartland 23% of students received a MAP Grant, with more students awarded the money with the proposed funding by the State Government. Heartland Community College President, Keith Cornille, spoke on the significance of these grants. 

“A MAP grant can be the difference between leaving a second job to attend class, or the ability to afford college classes at all,” said Cornille. “Expansion of MAP funding through the efforts of the Governor and the Legislature has increased the number of students receiving assistance as has provided an avenue for financial aid for short term stackable certificates and credentials.”