Governor Quinn Fights to Save College MAP Grants

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–September 29, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined hundreds of Illinois college students at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Student Center in an effort to rescue the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP). Those attending the Governor’s Town Hall Meeting to Save College Scholarships rally called on the Illinois General Assembly to restore critical second-semester MAP funding for nearly 138,000 eligible students.

“Today I stand with students, teachers, administrators, lawmakers and everyday people to challenge the General Assembly to fully fund MAP grants,” said Governor Quinn. “When it comes to this important education funding issue, we will not accept a grade of ‘incomplete’ from the Legislature.”

The Illinois Monetary Award Program is a need-based grant available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). Currently, the program faces a nearly $200 million dollar shortfall and funds will run out in January 2010.

Budget cuts by the General Assembly severely limited student aid for the 2009-2010 academic year, causing approximately 138,000 MAP grant recipients to receive only 50 percent of their award. Plus, an estimated 130,000 eligible students, who applied in Illinois after May 15, will receive no MAP aid at all. Available funds are now being distributed for fall term tuition and mandatory fees. However, without quick action by the General Assembly no money will be available after January 1, 2010.

The funding issue will be addressed in the upcoming General Assembly veto session, which takes place October 14-16 and October 28-30. At the UIC rally, Governor Quinn urged the General Assembly to provide nearly $200 million necessary to completely fund MAP for the rest of this fiscal year.

UIC lost around $12.6 million in MAP grant funding for the 2009-2010 school year. According to ISAC data, 6,114 UIC students received $24.5 million in MAP grant funding for the 2008-2009 school year.

Demand to fund second-semester MAP awards is building throughout the state. Last Friday, Governor Quinn addressed a MAP rally at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Before nearly 200 cheering students, Governor Quinn said it was unacceptable to partially fund MAP.

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