Below are my comments to Illinois Gov. Rauner in support of Monetary Award Program (MAP) financial aid for Illinois students attending universities in the state.

Dear Gov. Rauner,

I’m a professor at DePaul University in Chicago. In fact, I just joined the faculty at DePaul this fall and moved to Illinois a few months ago. I have been surprised during my first term as a university professor to have students come to me saying that it’s a struggle for them to buy approximately $25 in books for my class, students from Illinois.

Attending college is my students’ opportunity to improve their economic situation long-term and the future prospects for their families as well. In my short time here in Illinois I’ve also be continually impressed by how hard my students work – juggling paid work, often full-time with attending classes and doing out-of-class school work.

Investment in Illinois students attending university in the state is an investment in the future of this state. I personally had the life-changing opportunity to come here to the state to work and live, in large part because I was able to further my education. I’d like that for my students. Please invest in Illinois university students and support funding for MAP Grants. Don’t let the budget stalemate hold back Illinois students from pursuing their dreams.


Jill Hopke, Ph.D.

More information on the MAP grant program is available on the DePaul University website here.