Illinois Governor JB Pritzker visited Joliet Community College (JCC) on Thursday to announce his proposed investments in higher education. The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget includes the largest increase for community colleges in over two decades and historic investments in financial aid. The new funding will help ensure that virtually all community college students at or below the median income level can attend school for free.
According to Pritzker, the state has increased funding for day-to-day operations at community colleges by over $25 million since he took office. His FY24 budget proposal adds another $19 million annually. The Governor’s plan also calls for a $100 million investment in Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, which will be the largest investment in state history and represent a 75% increase in the program since he took office.
JCC is the nation’s first public community college and serves approximately 27,000 students each year across six campuses. One out of every five students receive financial aid through MAP grants, which is monetary assistance for school that does not need to be repaid. The Governor’s proposal will increase access to higher education for working families and help ensure that all Illinois students have access to the education and training they need to thrive.
Pritzker’s FY24 budget also proposes continued funding for the Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare (PATH) Workforce Program to train new nurses, medical assistants, medical laboratory technicians, emergency medical technicians, and other high-demand positions.
JCC is preparing students to work in underserved fields, including a partnership with Lion Electric, the biggest manufacturer of electric vehicles in its segment, and a continuing education program for healthcare professionals.
The Governor’s proposed investments in higher education will help address the nationwide shortage of skilled workers, especially in healthcare. With investments like PATH, more students will be able to attend community college for a career in the healthcare industry for free. The Governor’s plan will ensure that Illinois remains the best place in the country to live and go to school.