MAP grant funding still in question

Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

By Austin Miller, @AMiller_DE

Students arriving to campus thinking their school funds are secure may soon be in shock.

Because of the ongoing gridlock in the Illinois General Assembly, the state is still without a budget. Without a budget, the state is unable to fund the Monetary Award Program given out based on financial need.

University spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith said one-third of SIUC undergraduates receive funds from the MAP grants, totaling $14 million per year.

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Goldsmith said roughly 4,000 student’s accounts have already been credited in anticipation of the school being reimbursed for the grants in December, which she said is standard.

As common as the process is, there is a chance the state does not repay the money.

“Our first, strong hope is that the funds will be there and we certainly don’t want to penalize students now for the lack of the state budget,” Goldsmith said.

If the grants are not reimbursed by the legislature, students will be sought to do so.

“We don’t have $14 million, so it is probable we would have to go back and ask students and families for the funds,” Goldsmith said.

Goldsmith said she understands the increased stress this puts on students, who are arriving this week for the start of the fall semester Monday. But with the budget still up in the air, Goldsmith said administration thinks there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We truly hope and believe that the state will recognize the importance of the program.”

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Austin Miller can be reached at [email protected]

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