US Rep. Aaron Schock explains his expensive travel bills, and an IL State Senator proposes restructuring the state’s MAP Grant program.
by Mario Calero
MACOMB, IL: Governor Bruce Rauner’s $31.5 billion budget caused concern among Illinois residents, with the proposed $387 million in cuts to higher education. Many state congressmen are launching discussions on methods to help close the budget gap in Illinois. State Senator Chapin Rose, Illinois 51st District, introduced a measure to state legislature Friday that would, in his words, restore fiscal sanity to the Illinois MAP grant system.
The plan is broken down into 3 key points:
- Require students to finish school in 4 years
- Temporarily ban recipients who flunk out (1 year)
- Force grads to repay MAP grants… plus interest… if they move out of state within 5 years of graduating
Senator Rose says on his website that his plan aims quote: “to incentivize kids to finish on time.” But for those who come into college unsure about what exactly their future holds, there’s concern for how performance will be affected.
“It just doesn’t give a lot of people chances to actually finish and do what they want [in school] because they’ll be more worried about the money situation instead of trying to get good grades.” responded Samantha Gongora, junior at Western Illinois University.
Being the subject of large funding cuts makes supporting the changes difficult, but some students tell us the cuts are a necessary sacrifice, part of a bigger picture.
“There’s been a loss in the population of Illinois due to the higher taxes… if they are going to leave out of Illinois, then I think they should have to pay the [loan]”, said Michael Seilhymer, a student using federal loans to help pay for school.
Illinois currently sets aside $373 million for the Monetary Award Program, which helps students in lower economic classifications to pay for college by offering grants to eligible students.