Illinois State Budget Impacts College Students



The state of Illinois went without a budget for two years, six days, 16 hours and 34 minutes. The Illinois Legislature overrode Governor Rauner’s veto, and a budget was passed July 6, 2017, at 4:34 p.m.

Now that we have a budget, there are some questions that need answering: will higher education facilities receive the money that the state owes them? And, what does that mean for the students?

The Financial Aid office released a statement on August 2 stating, “You may have recently received or still may receive a refund from Lewis and Clark Community College this summer. The State of Illinois passed the state budget for the fiscal years 2017 and 2018. As a result, Illinois colleges were able to release state of Illinois Monetary Award Program Grants (MAP awards) for the 2016-2017 school year. If you were awarded MAP for fall 2016 and/or Spring 2017, and did not receive a refund, your refund may have been applied to a past due debt owed to the college. If you have another state award, such as WIOA, that paid your tuition in 2016-2017, you will not receive a refund.”

If you attended L&C for the 2016-2017 year and received the MAP grant, you probably received a message on Blazernet stating, “The FA office has placed this award on hold and no action can be taken on that award at this time. Please contact the FA office with any questions.”

That message was received because the state of Illinois was not paying those grants to the school to disburse.

With the budget passing, colleges and universities have started to receive the money owed to them by the state. Page 505 of the Illinois state budget outlines the Illinois Community College’s Board Appropriations of Funds and can be viewed here:

Hopefully, the worst run state in the country can get it together and begin being financially responsible again.

Donald Becker

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