October 20, 2015
By Rich Bodee
Every year around mid-August, college students across the country anxiously wait for their schools to send them their financial aid packets containing the amount of money they received from scholarship, grants and loans. This year, the amount of money students will receive from the state of Illinois is still up in the air.
The Illinois General Assembly has not yet passed the Illinois state budget, originally scheduled to be passed June 30.
This is a problem for students who have applied for the MAP grant, which comes from the state budget. The MAP grant is a program students can apply for when they submit their FAFSA for each new academic year.
Victoria Lamick director of the financial aid office said, “Forty-eight percent of Dominican students are eligible for the MAP grant for the remainder of the 2015 semester and 50% are eligible for the 2015-2016 school year.”
One of those students is Rachael Stewart, who is concerned she may not receive the money from the grant at all.
“Since the state hasn’t passed a budget, it’s concerning as a student to know what is going to happen with the MAP grant and what Dominican will do,” said Stewart.
The amount of money each student receives is based on the number of credits they are signed up for. At 15 credits, you can receive the maximum amount of money. If you are under 15 credits, then the amount you receive will be less.
“The maximum amount of money allocated per student is $2,360.00, and we have submitted all requests for every student, but as of right now, the state of Illinois can’t pay us our requests or any school’s requests for that matter,” said Lamick.
The question on everyone’s mind becomes: When will the state of Illinois pass the budget?
Political science professor David Dolence said, “I’m incapable to articulate in words how disorganized things are in Springfield. As a result, I’m hard pressed to say when.”
So for the time being, it seems this issue will continue to drag on.