By: Evan Powell
Roughly 125,000 college students in the State of Illinois and about forty percent of Quincy University students are at risk of losing their Illinois MAP (Monetary Award Program) grant for the 2015-2016 school year. The State of Illinois has yet to finalize the state budget, which the funding comes from each fiscal year.
QU students who receive this grant are facing problems with how they are going to pay for tuition in the future it the grant isn’t included in the new state budget. “A lot of my aid comes from the MAP grant and I’m really concerned that it isn’t finalized because it puts up another roadblock for me to get my degree. Also, the extra aid I planned on receiving was going towards books, living expenses, and possible summer classes,” said QU student Jake Braskett.
The MAP grant is a source of financial aid that is funded by the State of Illinois and is given to students who complete their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by the priority deadline. Illinois legislators still have not approved an official budget for this fiscal year and we’re already three months into the school year.
QU President Robert Gervasi and the university has set up a plan for the fall semester of 2015, if the state doesn’t fund the MAP grant in the future. “It’s very hard on our students and the university when a troubling situation with state funding can affect our students and their way to pay for higher education. We will float the money for this semester so students can continue to attend QU but the university will have a net loss of $1.3 million,” said President Gervasi.
Colleges and universities cannot guarantee that the funding will come in so they have to make a resolution to pay for the lack of aid.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited John Wood Community College on Thursday, October 15th and spoke about his plans with the state budget. “I believe the budget will be decided in the next sixty to ninety days, even though it should’ve been finished five months ago. Education is my biggest priority and it really drives me nuts that universities and students could be hurt,” said Governor Bruce Rauner.
Students will have to be patient and start making decisions with their parents/guardians on how to pay for school and other expenses in the future.