State Pressed To Fund Promised MAP Grants

Jan 14, 2016

Legislation filed yesterday asks the state to provide $168 million in tuition for low-income college students who were promised MAP grants last fall.

Thousands of students across the state rely on grants from the Monetary Award Program to pay up to 5-thousand-dollars of their tuition and fees.

But MAP grants have been a casualty of the state's budget stalemate, now in its seventh month.

Lawmakers have filed at least three separate measures trying to fund MAP, including a new plan in the Senate to repay colleges for floating MAP students through the fall semester.

But as the bill was filed, Gov. Bruce Rauner's office released a memo listing examples of college administrators' overspending.

State Senator Pat McGuire, a Democrat from Will County, acknowledged those issues.

"In the meantime, while higher education warrants a review and potentially reform -- as just about every aspect of state government would seem to -- we can't throw 125,000 students overboard,” McGuire said.

A recent survey showed that scores of colleges won’t honor MAP grants for the spring semester unless they receive state funding.