WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Simon Pushes for College Affordability

Oct 18, 2012

Illinois’ lieutenant governor wants more done to ensure a college education remains affordable. Democrat Sheila Simon is taking her message around the state as she visits each of the 12 public universities in Illinois.

“I do want to make sure that the state understands the value of investment in public higher education. That we still recognize the investment in higher education as the best economic development investment we can make,” said Simon during her stop at Western Illinois University.

But Simon acknowledged the state is falling short with its MAP grant funding. In addition, the current filing deadline makes it even more difficult for those who need assistance.

Simon said she is part of a task force studying MAP grant issues.

WIU is still owed $5.2 million in MAP grants for the current semester. The university said those late payments are impacting 3,200 to 3,300 students.

While at WIU, Simon met with Honors student Jessica Toops and graduate student Samantha Crunkilton in the College of Business and Technology Advising Center.

In a news release, Simon is described as “the Governor’s point person on education reform.”