Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville students receiving Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds to help pay tuition this fall have no worries about funding in the spring.
SIU President Randy Dunn recently announced that both the Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses will cover MAP grants for students for the Spring 2017 semester.
The MAP grants, which are different than student loans and do not need to be repaid, are made available to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need based on federal student aid applications.
At SIUE, $3.4 million in MAP grants has been paid to 2,219 students in the fall semester. At the Carbondale campus, $5.6 million in MAP grants has been paid to 2,917 students in the fall semester.
SIUE Chancellor Randall Pembrook said MAP grants make an education attainable for students.
“SIUE’s mission is to provide an accessible, affordable and excellent education, and MAP grants play a large role in offering opportunity for many students who arrive on this campus with the ambition to shape a changing world,” Pembrook said. “SIUE stands as a partner with Illinois in meeting the state’s expressed financial obligations to its citizens.”
In April, Gov. Bruce Rauner singed a stopgap bill, which provided $600 million to higher education in the state with $170 million going into the MAP grant program.
The SIU system received approximately $57 million for 2016.
While there is still much uncertainty as Illinois continues to operate without a budget, SIU officials are confident the state will release funds.
Doug Mcllhagga, executive director of university marketing and communications, said the spring MAP funding will come from reserve funds but officials are confident the state will come through.
“SIUE anticipates reimbursements from the State of Illinois for MAP grant funding as it has in years past,” Mcllhagga said. “Therefore, SIUE will cover MAP grants for students for the Spring 2017 semester in anticipation of those reimbursements for from the State of Illinois.”
John Charles, SIU executive director for governmental and public affairs, said Dunn has been meeting with lawmakers and has made it a priority to remind them of the importance of MAP funding.
“Just as the state fulfilled its promise to fund MAP grants for last year, we’re confident that the state lawmakers will come together again this year to provide this much needed financial aid to our students,” he said. “From everything we’ve heard, they’re not going to be let down.”
According to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, nearly 130,000 students received grants from the MAP program in 2015. The average amount granted was $2,782.