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Heartland Community College

Gov. Pritzker visits Heartland Community College to Highlight Proposed Higher Education Investments

March 14, 2023

Governor JB Pritzker joined Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and community leaders at Heartland Community College to highlight his proposed investments in higher education. 

The Governor and Lt. Governor were joined by Heartland Community College President Keith Cornille, State Senator David Koehler, Heartland Student Trustee Rodney Billerbeck and students who received financial aid from the Illinois MAP grant program. 

“Over the last four years, my administration has been laser focused on righting Illinois’ fiscal ship. Because of that work, our state can re-direct funding back into opportunity for Illinoisans, all while maintaining a balanced budget,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “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.” 

The Governor’s FY24 budget calls for the largest increase for community colleges in over two decades and historic investments in financial aid, with the goal of providing every Illinois student access to education and skills training. 

“The future of higher education is bright in Illinois as we increase funding to community colleges and public universities by $100 million,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “This historic investment is about valuing students, their potential, and giving them the tools they need to develop skills and grow intellectually here at home at the best learning institutions in the country.” 

The proposed budget calls for an additional $100 million investment in Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grants, which provide assistance to eligible students demonstrating financial need and do not need to be repaid. This represents a 75% increase since the Governor took office, marking the highest level of MAP grants available in state history. 

“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 Heartland Community College President Keith 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.” 

This academic year 23% of Heartland Community College students received a MAP Grant, and with the proposed investments, more students will be awarded that same funding.


Written by: Steve Fast