CARBONDALE — SIU’s administration breathes a little easier now that Illinois has a budget. SIU will again have state money for MAP grants without having to front the money itself.
When lawmakers couldn’t agree on a budget, that meant financial aid for college students like Veronica Kleber went on the back burner.
“Map grants and all financial aid, especially that stuff that comes from the government is something we rely heavily on,” she said, “and when we don’t have that guarantee of if we are going to get it, it kind of diminishes our hope for ever even graduating from this school.”
SIU took on the burden and fronted the cash to make up for the lost funding, so more than 5,000 students who receive that aid could affordably continue their education.
But as fears mounted about SIU’s financial state, Kleber decided to prepare in case SIU couldn’t bridge the gap.
“I’m working two jobs here while going full time here at school,” she said. “My parents are working, and we are all just trying to make everything meet.”
Sophomore Asia Esther also relies on MAP grants. She said learning they will continue helps put her mind at ease.
“That’s a load off my shoulders, a big load,” Esther said.
Klebers parents, who help her pay for college, said they look forward to watching their daughter graduate next spring.
“It made education affordable for her,” Lisa Kleber said.
And knowing their daughter won’t have an unbearable amount of loans right out of college makes them happy parents.
The university fronted more than $17 million a year for over two years for MAP grants while waiting on the state to release money for reimbursement.
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July 17, 2017 at 06:50PM