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Young Invincibles
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:24pm
Wed Oct 12, 2016

Duckworth Talks College Affordability At UIC, Responds To Kirk's New Attack Ad

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) was at the University of Illinois at Chicago Wednesday morning to talk with students about higher education and college affordability. 

"I can't think of something more important as an investment to our nation than making sure that we make college affordable, and that we get to a point where students are not starting off life with tremendous amounts of student loan debt," Duckworth told reporters after the town hall.

The event, sponsored by UIC student organizations and Young Invincibles Action, was supposed to be a candidate forum, but Kirk declined to participate, Duckworth said. 

The congresswoman used the event to detail college affordability proposals she is sponsoring in the U.S. House, namely the "In the Red Act." The proposal would adjust Pell Grants for inflation, allow borrowers to refinance student debt at lower interest rates and provide students with two years of tuition-free community college.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:22pm
Tue Sep 1, 2015

College Student Advocates Press For MAP Funding As State Budget Impasse Continues

As Illinois enters its third month without a budget, college student advocates want state funds freed up for the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

The need-based grant program helps low-income Illinois students pay for tuition at more than 130 colleges and universities in the state.

With college students gearing up for fall classes, MAP grants for up to 130,000 eligible applicants this school year are entangled in the Springfield budget standoff.

As a result, there is "a lot of confusion among students and a lot of uncertainly as to whether they'll be able to afford to return to school this fall," said Eve Rips, Midwest director at Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group.

"These students who aren't getting MAP funding are all truly in a place where paying for college is going to be very difficult," she added.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:07pm
Fri Jul 24, 2015

Report: Higher Ed Investments Key To Closing Racial Unemployment Gap In Illinois

Young Illinois adults of color are facing significant disparities in employment, wages and educational attainment, a new report shows.

The Millennial research and advocacy group Young Invincibles put out the report, arguing that greater investments in higher education are key to closing the gaps.

"Creating more opportunities for people of color to attain higher education is a critical step towards addressing the striking disparities in employment and wages in Illinois and nationwide," Eve Rips, Midwest director of Young Invincibles, said in a statement. "With Illinois students paying some of highest tuition in the country, proposed cuts to higher education could further fuel racial disparities in education attainment."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:07pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Experts: Higher Education Reinvestments Needed In Illinois & Nationwide

Illinois, and nearly every other U.S. state, is spending less today on higher education than when the Great Recession started, according to new research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

CBPP's report, issued last week, details how state-level cuts to higher education funding over recent years have been a key cause of "steep tuition increases that threaten to put college out of reach for more students." The center's research comes at a time when Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed deep cuts to higher education as part of his 2016 budget plan. 

"College-educated workers are essential to our nation's economic success," CBPP policy analyst and report co-author Michael Mitchell said in a statement. "States must reinvest in their colleges and universities now to build the workforce they need to compete in decades to come."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:58pm
Wed Apr 22, 2015

Rauner Budget Would Be 'Catastrophic' For Illinois Higher Ed System, Report Finds

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget proposal seeking to slash higher education spending by $387 million next fiscal year "would have direct and devastating effects on individual campuses" and students, according to a new report.

The report by Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group, notes that Illinois has already cut higher education funding spent directly on students by $500 million over the past five years.

If approved, Rauner's plan to further reduce higher education spending by 31 percent in the 2016 fiscal year, beginning July 1, "would be catastrophic" for the state's higher education system and Illinois students who have "already been pushed past the breaking point by disinvestment in higher education," the report reads.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:56pm
Wed Feb 4, 2015

Rauner's First State Of The State Address Garners Mixed Reviews

During his first State of the State address on Wednesday, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed raising the state's minimum wage to $10 over seven years, pushed his plan for right-to-work zones and vowed to keep his campaign promise to increase education funding. Progress Illinois provides highlights from Rauner's speech and rounds up reaction to his agenda for the state.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:09pm
Fri Jun 27, 2014

CivicLab's 'Democracy Design Studio' To Launch New Tools, Programs For Activists

Progress Illinois profiles the Chicago-based CivicLab, which turns one year old next month, and its latest efforts to aid local activists.