Budget Stalemate Puts MAP Grants At Risk
Lewis and Clark students whose financial aid rely on Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants are in trouble, as well as many college students in the state of Illinois, because of the ongoing Illinois budget stalemate.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has recently vetoed legislation that would distribute $397 million from the state for MAP grant funding. This legislation, Senate Bill (SB) 2043, passed through the Illinois General Assembly on Jan. 28, but was vetoed by Rauner on Feb. 19. While the Senate was able to reject the veto, the House came up short by two votes.
Rauner stated, according to the Telegraph, that it would “explode the State’s budget deficit, exacerbate the State’s cash flow crisis, and place further strain on social service providers and recipients who are already suffering from the State’s deficit spending.”
Overall, the bill would have allocated $721 million for community colleges and scholarships for low-income students. Also, this includes the money for MAP grants.
As of March 30, according to Kent Scheffel, the vice president of enrollment services at L&C, “the Spring 2016 MAP numbers are 287 students and $160,492.19 transmitted.” For the fall, those numbers were even higher with 387 students and $226,550 transmitted.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Lewis and Clark Media Services Manager Laura Inlow said that up to 5 percent of L&C students will receive a MAP grant in 2016. However, after the spring semester, the school will no longer be able to fund the MAP grants.
Luckily, according to the Associated Press, Illinois lawmakers approved a $600 million short-term funding fix for colleges and universities on April 22nd. Gov. Rauner is expected to sign the bill, which also includes $170 million in tuition grants for low income students.