cpz 060822CHICAGO – Students of public universities and colleges will soon have access to an on-campus point-person to help them find and apply for assistance programs thanks to a law sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago).

“There are countless numbers of assistance programs offered by campuses, communities and the state for students to take advantage of,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Now, an on-campus benefits navigator can help students find and apply for programs for food or housing assistance, scholarships, and more.”

The new law requires 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.”

Gov. JB Pritzker signed the measure into law Tuesday. It goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.