WIUM Tristates Public Radio

MAP grants

Low-income university students had until early March this year to fill out a form that allowed them to take advantage of Illinois' primary financial aid program.

Incoming and continuing college students can't wait that long if they hope to receive a "MAP grant" for the next school year.

That form, known as the FAFSA (short for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid) came out early this year, at the start of October, Which means the deadline has moved up for everyone.

There's another reason to get the forms in quickly.

Rich Egger

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign surged in part because of his tuition-free college platform. Now one of Sanders' backers --- State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) -- is bringing that plan to Illinois.

Kate Mishkin

Five Knox College students joined roughly 1,200 other demonstrators at the Illinois capitol, calling for the state to provide funding for the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP).

Illinois House Fails To Override Veto Of MAP Funding

Mar 3, 2016

The Illinois House has failed to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of funding for college grants and two-year schools. 

The House debated restoring hundreds of millions of dollars in college funding for two hours Wednesday afternoon. But overcoming Republican Rauner's rejection of the spending required 71 votes. It failed 69-48. 

The legislation involved $397 million for the income-based Monetary Award Program and $324 million for community colleges. 

Rich Egger

The administration announced the cuts mid-afternoon Friday.  The cuts will take place over the next two fiscal years, beginning July 1, 2016.  In addition, the university will make additional cuts for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Rich Egger

Representatives from across the higher education spectrum gathered at Western Illinois University in Macomb to urge the state to provide funding for colleges and universities. But just hours afterward, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure (SB 2043) that would have funded MAP grants and provided at least a bit of income for the schools.

Rich Egger

Low-income college students who were promised state help paying for their tuition will continue to go without it. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has followed through on his pledge to reject funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Rich Egger

Roughly 200 people marched through the Western Illinois University campus Tuesday afternoon.  They wanted to make a public statement about their dissatisfaction with decision-makers in Springfield.

The Illinois Senate President is encouraging Governor Bruce Rauner to rethink his priorities on student aid legislation, but the governor was quick to repeat his promise of a veto.

Senate President John Cullerton says he'll hold onto legislation for a couple of weeks, to give the governor time to "cool off," then he'll send it to Rauner for action.

Rich Egger

A coalition of education, labor, and non-profit organizations is urging the governor and legislative leaders to cut the cost of higher education for students by providing more funding for its colleges and universities.

Community. Service.

Oct 14, 2015
Rich Egger

On Saturday, October 3rd I attended the WIU Homecoming parade. It was a beautiful day for a parade: sunny, the air crisp, the trees around us on the verge of exploding in autumnal color. I watched high school marching bands, politicians and hair stylists, dance troupes and college floats pass by. 

Hammond Concerned About Higher Education Funding

Oct 14, 2015
T.J. Carson

K-12 schools in Illinois have received financial support from the state; their funding was the only part of the budget signed this year by Governor Bruce Rauner.  That leaves a western Illinois lawmaker worried about funding for students who choose to continue their education after high school.

Rich Egger

Illinois’ lieutenant governor wants more done to ensure a college education remains affordable. Democrat Sheila Simon is taking her message around the state as she visits each of the 12 public universities in Illinois.

“I do want to make sure that the state understands the value of investment in public higher education. That we still recognize the investment in higher education as the best economic development investment we can make,” said Simon during her stop at Western Illinois University.

Rich Egger

The  Illinois House is considering a 6% cut to state universities  in next year's budget. That's nearly double the reduction  in  the budget plan that passed the Senate last week.

The  dollar amount of the cuts would vary depending on the size of the  institution.

Western Illinois University would lose nearly $3.4 million.

The  proposal also slashes $15 million from scholarships for needy students through the Monetary Assistance Program, also known as MAP Grants.

State Representative Norine Hammond (R-94) is taking a wait-and-see attitude after hearing Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's State of the State speech.

She said she could support Quinn's plan to increase funding for the Monetary Award Program.  It provides grants to college students.  She has a few reservations.

Hammond said,  “To increase MAP grants, if we have the funding-and again I think it's a big 'if'-it is something that I could certainly support.”