If you’re counting on state Monetary Award Program grants to help you pay for tuition when you go back to college this fall, we’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.
First the good news: You’ll get all the money you were promised for the fall term, says Paul Palian, the spokesman for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
“We are making students whole for the first semester,” Palian says.
That’s an improvement over what we last reported.
Previously, ISAC thought it would only get enough money this year to fund the grants at about 85 cents on the dollar for the fall term. A couple of weeks ago, Gov. Pat Quinn said he was trying to find more money for the grant program.
So breathe a short sigh of relief if your award letter says you’ll get, say, $2,000 in MAP grants for each semester. That’s what you’ll receive for the fall.
Statewide, ISAC will be handing out $194 million in grants this fall, about 20 percent more than it had expected to.
Now the bad news: Quinn’s budget didn’t set aside any money for those grants for the spring term, and ISAC isn’t too hopeful there will be a windfall anytime soon to make things right.
Come Jan. 1, no MAP grants for anyone. Period.
“There’s going to be students in a world of hurt,” Palian says.
“We’re telling people not to plan on (getting grants for the spring term),” he goes on to say. “I don’t think it’s prudent to plan on this being made whole, especially seeing what’s happening in other states where education is being cut back.”
If you’re a student expecting MAP grants as part of your financial aid package, we’d like to hear from you. How are you planning to deal with losing half your grant? How much does it help knowing that you’ll get full funding for the fall?
Leave a comment below, e-mail me, or call me at 773-362-5002, x18.