As a Roosevelt University senior, and economics major, 25-year-old Justin Provo has learned how to get by on a shoestring budget that has included, until recently, an estimated $3,776 annually from the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP).
As the 2016-17 academic year approaches, and with no agreement in sight by the General Assembly to fund the coming year’s MAP grant program, the Roosevelt student is preparing to speak out for continuing MAP funding as a new student board member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE).
“The MAP grant allowed me to offset tuition costs while using my other financial aid resources to pay my rent; without it, I will have even more difficulty paying my rent,” said the Bridgeport resident. Provo is currently increasing his hours at work and applying for several additional scholarships to help cover the additional costs in the event that Illinois lawmakers don’t fund the state’s 2017 fiscal year MAP grant program.
“Like a lot of college students, I rely on the MAP grant to make ends meet,” said Provo, who begins a one-year term as IBHE’s Non-Traditional Student Board member in September. “This will be a chance for me to be a prominent voice and advocate for the continuation of MAP.”
Before enrolling at Roosevelt in 2015, Provo was a student and graduate of Harper College in Palatine where he helped lead the community college’s ethics bowl team to a national championship. Currently a senator with Roosevelt’s Student Government Association, Provo also has been a member of IBHE’s student advisory committee and was one of the organizers of a lobby effort by Illinois college students who met in April with state lawmakers in Springfield about the need for continued higher education funding.
“We want to make sure that college is affordable for everyone, and that means continuing to fight for more funding for higher education,” said Provo.
An honors student, Provo hopes to pursue an advanced degree in public policy after graduating from Roosevelt in 2017.