February 08, 2022

Duckworth, Durbin Emphasize the Importance of Supporting Higher Education with Presidents of Illinois Colleges & Universities


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with several Presidents from the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. During the video call, Duckworth, Durbin and the representatives discussed federal support for higher education throughout the ongoing pandemic, as well as their legislative efforts to create stronger support systems for students attending Illinois colleges and universities. 

“I had a productive conversation with Senator Durbin and several presidents from Illinois colleges and universities about the importance of uplifting these institutions and their students,” said Duckworth. “I’ll continue working with Senator Durbin to help ensure that higher education is an attainable, affordable opportunity for all students—especially students of color, student parents, women and Veterans.

“The last two years have been incredibly challenging for students and non-profit private colleges. I am grateful that these institutions in Illinois have continued to be resilient during the pandemic and for the work they do to advance the lives of their students and their communities,” said Durbin. “But, we all have more work to do to make college more affordable.  I am committed to increasing the Pell Grant, expanding affordable course materials through open textbooks, and bringing real accountability to higher education.” 

Duckworth and Durbin have been working toward making sure higher education has increased federal support. In June 2021, they helped introduce the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act, which would help make college more affordable by doubling the Pell Grant award, index the award to inflation and make other changes to expand the award for working students and families.