Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Visits JWCC Highlighting FY24 Budget Investments in Higher Education

JWCC main campus building
June 5, 2023

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Visits JWCC Highlighting FY24 Budget Investments in Higher Education

John Wood Community College welcomed Governor JB Pritzker, Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and numerous local elected officials to the Quincy campus today. The Governor spoke about the new 2024 fiscal year state budget and the investments in higher education.

President Bryan Renfro shared, “We are honored to welcome Governor Pritzker to John Wood. We appreciate the Governor’s visit to our campus and acknowledging the vital role community colleges play in the State’s education and economic development plans in supporting the future growth of Illinois.  This year’s investments in our community colleges ensure we put students first.”

“We are excited about the increase in the Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding,” Renfro continued. “The increase in MAP grant funding will mean that virtually all community college students from households at or below median income levels will have their tuition and fees fully covered between MAP and federal Pell grants.”

MAP grants are available to eligible Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need, based on information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This money would go directly to students to support their tuition and fees.

“The State’s increase in MAP funding is the most efficient way to help students access education,” Renfro stated. “We applaud our State legislators and Governor Pritzker for making this investment in our student’s futures.   MAP funding goes directly to students who qualify and helped nearly 600 of our 1700 students this last year. These students come to us to pursue their hopes and dreams and looking for a better way of life.  MAP funding provides an opportunity they might not otherwise have.”

Two JWCC students presented at today’s event. JWCC 2023 graduate Sam Hilbing of Quincy and JWCC Nicole Cooley of Pittsfield in the class of 2023-24 and is also VP of JWCC Student Government Association. Both received MAP grants and will be able to complete their two-year degrees debt-free. Graduating debt-free from community college allows students to start their professional lives without the burden of student loans, providing them with greater financial freedom and the opportunity to pursue their future goals with fewer financial constraints.

Pictured L to R: JWCC Student Nicole Cooley, JWCC President Bryan Renfro, Governor JB Pritzker.

Group speaker picture L to R:   Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Quincy Mayor Mike Troup, Kyle Moore, President, Great River Economic Development Foundation, JWCC Student Nicole Cooley, JWCC President Bryan Renfro, Governor JB Pritzker, JWCC Student Sam Hilbing, Illinois State Senator Jil Tracy.

John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community. JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today's needs and tomorrow's opportunities. JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees, certificates, and personal enrichment courses.