A survey by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission found Illinois colleges and universities are handling MAP Grant funding in different ways as state funding runs out.
The commission administers the Monetary Award Program, or MAP Grant, to help low-income students pay tuition. State funding ends next week, and some schools have credited students for the grants, Others expect the students to repay them, and some schools are dipping into MAP students' federal financial aid.
Julie Post is a blind single mother. Her son turned down offers from three out-of-state schools because he was counting on the MAP grant. Now Post says she's burned through savings and taken out loans, as has her son John, a junior at Bradley University.
"And we know the people making these decisions are not waiting for $5,000 per year of school," she says. "It doesn't change their lives, but it changes mine, and it changes my kids."
Some schools will require students to repay MAP funds, and will not allow them to register, obtain a transcript or graduate without repayment. Meanwhile, the Finance Director of Sauk Valley Community College is advising students not to apply for MAP grants, since they lack money to fund them.