ILLINOIS (WCIA)– A new bill has passed the house and is on its way to the Senate.
It would allow a select group of students access to MAP grants. It’s legislation some at the U of I have been working on for years.
The bill would help students who are transgender and those who are not citizens.
Right now some of these students have to pay for their education without any help.
This bill could change that.
During a trip to the statehouse, Rowan Ewangan helped shed some light on the struggles he faces when paying for college.
“I stress a lot about finances and for me to be able to focus on my education would be phenomenal,” Rowan Ewangan says.
He has first-hand experience of having to jump through hoops because he’s transgender.
“When I had applied for FAFSA I had to verify my citizenship because the gender I reported and my legal gender on some of my IDs didn’t match,” Ewangan says.
Some with the University of Illinois have worked hard to make sure their students have the opportunity to get their degrees.
“We have been working for many years and trying to create a mechanism for some of our students to get some sort of financial relief,” Giocondi Guerra Perez.
Now that could happen, a bill that’s heading to the Senate expands access to MAP grants for students who are transgender or not citizens.
Ewangan says he went to the statehouse because he knows he’s not alone.
“It was important for me to go because a lot of students like me we want an education very badly it’s a sense of stability for us and it sucks that a lot of us have to worry about getting funding for our education,” Ewangan says.
Those with the university say these students have already worked hard and deserved the help.
“We have many students who have gone throughout k-12 education. We’ve invested in them. And now they’re in higher education and one of the obstacles they face is financial aid,” Guerra Perez says.
Ewangan says if he wants to go and speak to the Senate if he has the chance