Fund Financial Aid for Low-Income Students
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These are unprecedented times. Illinois has gone nearly two full years without a budget, with higher education and students left in the dust.
In June 2016, our legislators passed a stopgap budget, funding our higher education institutions through the end of the year and crediting the MAP program for the year it had been left unfunded (the 2015- 2016 school year). While it is promising that our legislators were able to come together and compromise to release these much needed funds, we need to prioritize the passage of a full year’s budget for remainder of the school year.
Even though this funding carried schools through December 2016, no money at all has come through for MAP grants for the 2016-2017 school year. This means that students are placed in exactly the same situation that they were in this time last year, filled with uncertainty about their ability to stay in school and graduate. Yet again, students are wondering if their schools will be able to cover MAP grants until the state passes this year’s budget. After a year of chaos and disinvestment, over 40 percent of schools are unable to fully credit another year’s worth of MAP grants for their students.
Students like me have been doing everything we can to ensure we’re able to stay in school and graduate, but without MAP funding, I am not sure this will be a reality. Governor Rauner and state lawmakers, our students cannot go another year without funding for the MAP program. Please come together and compromise to permanently restore MAP grant funding for the 2016-2017 school year.
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