032922HAO01273SPRINGFIELD – To help students access state, federal and community benefits, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) spearheaded a measure in the Senate to require universities to designate an on-campus benefits navigator.

“The pandemic has put a lot financial strain on students, and they may not always know what assistance is available to them,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Having a point-person on campus for college students to go to will increase access to the resources they need to thrive.”

House Bill 4201 requires the each public university and community college in Illinois to designate a benefits navigator to assist students in identifying and applying for benefit programs and campus-wide and community assistance programs.

Additionally, the benefits navigator will participate in a statewide consortium with navigators from other universities and colleges to develop best practices and coordinate information.

“The benefits navigator will be a go-to person for students needing to traverse campus and community resources and will help to address resource insecurities like food and housing that many college students face,” said State Representative Maurice West, House sponsor of the legislation. “Having benefit navigators in our colleges and universities will ensure many students obtain the tools and resources they need to successfully complete college and make a better life for themselves and their families.”

House Bill 4201 passed the Senate Tuesday and heads to the governor for final action.

Category: Press Releases

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