Western Illinois University announced Tuesday that after previous concerns about Illinois MAP (monetary award program) grants, the school would go forward in awarding them to eligible students. Just last week, WIU sent out an email stating unresolved budget issues would delay this process. In an email to NEWS3, a university representative says the university is still relying on “good faith” that the state budget will be resolved in time.
According to WIU Budget Director Matt Bierman, an estimated 3,000 students receive MAP grants. Many of those students rely on the grant to pay for tuition. When last week’s emails went out saying the grants would not be awarded, many students went to social media to voice their concerns.
Students also commented on the NEWS3 Facebook page to voice their opinions on the subject. Brittany Doyle posted, “Without the MAP Grant, I can’t afford school and living expenses this semester.”
WIU’s new course of action is in line with that of some other state universities. Southern Illinois University says it will move forward with “historical practice and package MAP grants, as in the past.”
WIU says it “will carry the liability of the fall MAP funds until the state has reached a FY16 budget agreement. Once that MAP budget has been passed the university, along with ISAC, will make further decisions about future levels of MAP funding.”