CARBONDALE….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) are reminding high school, college, and non-traditional students planning to attend college next school year that October 1, 2019, was the first day to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal government for consideration.
The Southern Illinois Republican legislators are both members of the Illinois House Committees on Higher Education and Higher Education Appropriations. Rep. Terri Bryant says submitting a FAFSA as soon as possible makes financial sense, and can help students planning to attend college get a leg up on the stiff competition for student aid dollars.
“The FAFSA evaluates family finances to help determine a family or individual’s ability to pay for college,” Bryant said. “My advice to prospective students is to get those FAFSAs turned in as soon as you can so you can make plans for your educational future.”
“Establishing some financial certainty for yourself concerning how you will afford the upcoming school year is a critical part of a successful educational journey,” Severin said. “Whether you plan to go to John A. Logan College or Southern Illinois University, filling out the FAFSA is the first step to knowing what kind of assistance you may be eligible for.”
The website to file a FAFSA, and to find more information is: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa
During the final days of the 2019 spring Legislative Session, Representatives Bryant and Severin cast Yes votes for a balanced FY 2020 budget package that included increases for higher education funding and financial assistance.
The legislators supported a 5% funding increase to universities and community colleges, an additional $50 million for MAP grants, and an additional $10 million towards AIM HIGH scholarships.
“I am proud to have been part of negotiations that produced a truly balanced budget that also invests in Southern Illinois University, and the entire state higher education system,” Severin said. “Illinois Universities have endured years of budget cuts and financial uncertainty. The investments we’ve made as a result of the FY 2020 balanced budget will help keep our institutions on the cutting edge, keep them competitive with neighboring states, and increase accessibility for students from lower-income homes.”
“During my time in Springfield, I have always fought hard for SIU Carbondale,” Rep. Bryant said. “This past year, Rep. Severin and I joined forces in the House to demand an increase in funding for both community colleges and universities, and to increase funding for MAP grants and merit-based scholarships through the AIM HIGH program. AIM HIGH encourages Illinois students to attend an in-state university, improves access for low-income students, and incentivizes students to be excellent. With these tools in place, and some fiscal certainty, Illinois’ can become a more competitive state in terms of access and affordability.”
The Illinois College 2 Career website is a newer tool for students to find Illinois colleges that best fit their educational priorities and career goals within the state. The website’s address is www.ilcollege2career.com