October 7, 2009 - Governor Pat Quinn today joined hundreds of Illinois college students in an effort to rescue the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP). Those attending the Governor’s Rallies to Save College Scholarships 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 today’s rallies, Governor Quinn urged the General Assembly to provide nearly $200 million necessary to completely fund MAP for the rest of this fiscal year.
Demand to fund second-semester MAP awards is building throughout the state. Governor Quinn hosted rallies to save MAP grants at the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Bradley University, Black Hawk College, John Wood Community College and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
For more information, please visit SaveIllinoisMapGrants.org.