Local students rally for MAP grant funding

By Gary Scott on February 16, 2016 at 12:13pm

A handful of Jacksonville college students are in Springfield today rallying for the governor to pass a bill funding Monetary Award Program grants.

A bill supported by Illinois Democrats that would free up MAP grant money for students in public and private colleges in the state that’s currently locked up in the budget impasse was passed in January.

Governor Rauner has promised to veto the bill, saying through a spokesperson it would force the state to delay payments to other services if it becomes law.

MacMurray College Director of Financial Aid Laci Englebrecht says almost half of the students at Mac receive over a million dollars worth of MAP grant assistance.

“The state is recommending that financial aid offices go ahead and award this sto students for next school year, even though we have no money for this school year. So, I hope they will back up their sort-of-continued promises to students,” says Englebrecht.

MAP grants are provided on a “first come, first serve” basis. Englebrecht explains over the last several years, only about half of the students applying are being accepted.

One of the MacMurray students who didn’t make the cut, freshman Marcus Johnson, is attending today’s rally in Springfield.

“I’m going to support my friends. Some of them need a lot, and it’s hard because everybody don’t make it to college, and we’ve made it, so, we need everything we can get,” says Johnson.

While some public colleges have announce cuts to MAP grant funding for students in the current semester, MacMurray College and Illinois College’s financial aid departments have told us they continue to absorb the cost.

The event is being organized by the Federation of Independent Colleges. A similar rally is being held in Chicago.