College Students Who Get Financial Aid from Illinois Feel the Pinch of No State Budget

Mercedez Jones is 19 and about to graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She’s a MAP grant recipient who questions why she’d want to go on to law school in Illinois, if the state isn’t going to prioritize higher education during the ongoing budget impasse.
Mercedez Jones is 19 and about to graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She’s a MAP grant recipient who questions why she’d want to go on to law school in Illinois, if the state isn’t going to prioritize higher education during the ongoing budget impasse. Photo Courtesy of Tony Arnold
Mercedez Jones is 19 and about to graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She’s a MAP grant recipient who questions why she’d want to go on to law school in Illinois, if the state isn’t going to prioritize higher education during the ongoing budget impasse.
Mercedez Jones is 19 and about to graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She’s a MAP grant recipient who questions why she’d want to go on to law school in Illinois, if the state isn’t going to prioritize higher education during the ongoing budget impasse. Photo Courtesy of Tony Arnold

College Students Who Get Financial Aid from Illinois Feel the Pinch of No State Budget

Illinois has been promising young people financial assistance from the state government to go to college.

Except for this year.

With no state budget, many of Illinois’ college students can’t be sure that the money will still be there. Universities are covering the costs of those scholarships for now.

Mercedez Jones is one of the students in financial limbo at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The whole thing is making her wonder if she even wants to stay in Illinois.

Jones talked with WBEZ’s Tony Arnold for our series “Caught in the Middle.”

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Tony Arnold is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow him @tonyjarnold