WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lawmakers Quickly Support MAP Grants

Springfield, IL – Illinois lawmakers took action to reassure tens of thousands of low-income college students who were about to lose their state tuition aide next semester.

Both chambers of the General Assembly this week hurried to restore more than 200 million dollars for the so-called Monetary Award Program, also known as MAP grants.

State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) says it was important to address the matter immediately.

"Students are making plans for the spring semester," says Sullivan. "They need to know their funding will be available."

Sullivan says the MAP grant funding is "essential" for some students. He says in his district alone, 2,744 students depend on MAP grants.

The measure still needs the governor's approval. But Democrat Pat Quinn has said he will promptly sign it into law, in time for spring class registration.

However, Illinois is already billions of dollars in debt and legislators did not identify how the state will come up with extra money for the scholarships.

Although some lawmakers raised concerns about it, they voted for the measure anyway.

The governor says he will focus on finding a revenue source in January. In the meantime, he hinted at borrowing money from dedicated state funds.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio