050323CM0330rROCK ISLAND – State Senator Mike Halpin is highlighting the start of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s annual College Changes Everything Campaign—beginning with recognizing October as CCE Month.

“College Changes Everything Month reminds us that education is more than an individual journey,” said Halpin (D-Rock Island), chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “It’s a collective investment in our state’s future. By celebrating this month, we are acknowledging that every student’s success is a step toward a more thriving community.”

CCE is a college access movement that recognizes college can be a life-changing experience not only for students, but also for families and communities. In Illinois and across the nation, those who obtain education beyond high school not only see a significant impact on their potential career prospects and future salary, but also lower levels of poverty, crime and obesity rates in their communities. CCE is an essential part of helping Illinois reach its goal of increasing the proportion of adults in the state with high quality degrees or credentials to 60% by 2025.

For the past eight years, during CCE Month, ISAC has collaborated with schools and community-based organizations to provide free college and financial aid application completion workshops statewide. This year, CCE campaign activities will extend through the winter to better support students and families in light of the transition to a later launch date of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

“The College Changes Everything campaign aligns with our states’ values of affordability, access and equal opportunity in education,” said Halpin. “Together, we can empower and uplift students across Illinois to reach their full potential. I encourage all students and families to take advantage of the free workshops to alleviate as much stress as possible come college and FAFSA application time.”

For more information about CCE Month or the CCE campaign, visit the CCE website.