Illinois College will again be covering money students have been promised but have not received through the state’s Monetary Award Program grants.
The grants are given to Illinois residents who attend a college in the state and show financial need.
Because of an ongoing impasse over the state budget, many students have not been receiving payments or are receiving the grants after a significant delay.
The college’s board of directors has decided to take care of the amount of the delayed grants through its MAP Gap Guarantee initiative. It will be the third year Illinois College has covered the grants.
Stephanie Chipman, vice president of enrollment management and college marketing, said Illinois College has about 450 students who rely on the grant to help cover tuition costs — totalling about $1.75 million.
“Illinois College has been supporting student success and access for nearly 200 years,” Chipman said. “Continuing IC’s MAP Gap Guarantee for the third consecutive year is our way of investing in student success and the state’s economic future.”
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission suspended all Monetary Award Program grants earlier this year, but has since released a portion of the funds for students who had their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms filed between Dec. 22 and Jan. 15. Those filed after that date are still suspended.
“Without these funds, many students would be unable to pursue their dreams of a bachelor’s degree,” Chipman said.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed an increase to Monetary Award Program funding.
“When it comes to higher education, we understand the hardship being felt by students who rely on state assistance to go to college,” Rauner said. “That’s why we’re proposing a 10 percent increase to MAP grant funding — so those students can focus on learning and not their next tuition bill.”
Chipman said there is hope the state will pass a budget, but said Illinois College is committed to covering the funding if there is no resolution.
“If the state fails to fulfill its promise to these students, Illinois College will step in to cover the MAP grants through a variety of budget sources,” Chipman said.
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter @JCNews_samantha.
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February 28, 2017 at 08:57PM