Illinois Comptroller releases $523 million for higher education


Illinois comptroller Susana Mendoza talks to faculty and members of the Carbondale community regarding concerns about healthcare and the state budget impasse Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, at SIU’s Communications Building. (Athena Chrysanthou | @Chrysant1Athena)

By Marnie Leonard

The Illinois Comptroller’s Office began issuing overdue payments to state universities and colleges for Monetary Award Program grants and other operations, according to a Thursday press release from Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

The payments total $523 million, with $327 million going to state universities and $36 million going to community colleges for MAP grants. This marks the first release of funds to state higher education institutions in over seven months.

The MAP grant funding will go to about 110,000 students who qualified for the need-based awards for the 2016 to 2017 school year, according to the press release.


Last July, SIU President Randy Dunn announced SIU would fund MAP grants for both the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses for the fall 2016 due to state funding for the program being cut.

The university pledged in October to continue that funding through the spring 2017 semester as SIU continued to operate with a temporary spending plan passed by state lawmakers in June 2016.

Dunn described the funding of the grants as a “covenant relationship between the state of Illinois and eligible students” that allows low-income students to pursue their educational goals.

When the Illinois House voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget veto July 6, Mendoza was given the appropriation authority to release funds for higher education. The state budget provides about $1.1 billion for public colleges and universities.

The Comptroller’s Office will begin issuing another $160 million to state universities and community college for operations, the press release said.

“Our schools and our students need stability,” Mendoza said. “These desperately needed past-due payments will bring more stability to operations going into the fall semester and provide a reassurance to the accrediting and credit rating agencies that state funds are on the way.”

Campus editor Marnie Leonard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @marsuzleo.


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