EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Financial help is on the horizon for Peoria Public Schools students who are continuing their education at Illinois Central College (ICC).

Friday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-17) announced that nearly $1.5 million in federal grants from the Department of Education have been awarded to ICC and Highland Community College, Carl Sandburg College, and Rock Valley College through the Upward Bound Grant Program. 

The Upward Bound Grant Program helps students prepare for college by serving high school students from low-income families and families where neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree.

Locally, this translates to $297,601 for ICC, and the funding will support high school students attending Peoria Public Schools by providing services and activities to assist them in adjusting to college life.

“Our students deserve access to the tools and resources they need to reach their goals,” said Bustos. “Today, I’m excited to announce that Highland Community College, Carl Sandburg College, Rock Valley College, and Illinois Central College will receive nearly $1.5 million in funding to support low-income and first-generation students and better prepare them for higher education.” 

Other institutions receiving funding include:

  • $287,537 for Highland Community College: This funding will provide participants with academic instruction, tutoring, and advising; information on financial aid programs; assistance in completing financial aid applications; financial literacy; and support applying for college enrollment. 
  • $297,601 for Highland Community College: This funding will serve 60 Upward Bound students annually at Highland Community College target schools that meet the federal eligibility criteria. 
  • $312,480 for Carl Sandburg College: This funding will serve 67 students in four target communities, Abingdon-Avon; Galesburg; Knoxville; and the Rio, Oneida, Wataga, Victoria, and Altona areas, by providing college preparatory activities and supportive services. 
  • $297,090 for Rock Valley College: This funding will serve 60 students at two target schools, Rockford East High School, and Auburn High School, by developing and delivering an academic-year program that addresses the identified needs of their participants.