http://ift.tt/2havQroQUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) –
Emma Hoyt is a freshman at John Wood Community College in Quincy, and she qualifies for MAP grants. However, she’s not even bothering to apply this year.
“When you’re promised money to help you go through school, and help support you financially through school, it is kind of disappointing because when you are trying to pay your own way and use your own financial aid and kind of stuff, it is kind of disappointing.” Hoyt said.
Officials at John Wood Community College said they have 350 students still waiting for around $450,000 dollars in MAP grant funds.
Some of that was supposed to come last school year, but because of the state budget impasse, that money never showed.
Melanie Lechtenberg, who is the Director of Financial Aid at John Wood, said that the lack of funding is forcing students to look elsewhere.
“They’re looking at different resources as far as what financial aid is available.” Lechtenberg noted. “Do they have to take additional loans out? Are there other scholarships available?”
Across town at Quincy University, students like Bridget Regan have experienced the same headaches.
“Last year I was a map grant recipient and the same thing happened to me. It was really hard to make up that money.” Regan recalled. “So this year I didn’t even apply for it, because I figured the exact same thing would happen, and why should I go through this trouble for money I’m not going to get.”
The University says that twenty percent of its student body qualifies for MAP funding, which makes up around 1.2 million dollars in owed grants. Vice President for Student Enrollment and Engagement Soumitra Ghosh urged residents to take action.
“Call your representative. Write to them. Let them know how important the state of higher education in Illinois is for you,” he said.
Both John Wood and Quincy University said that they do not plan on floating grant money for their students.