Students aren't the only ones organizing on Illinois college campuses to save their second semester Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants. Administrators are getting in on the action too.
When it became clear that the General Assembly would not take steps to generate ...
When it became clear that the General Assembly would not take steps to generate additional revenue and Gov. Pat Quinn would not use any of the $180 million he has stashed in a reserve account to restore $220 million in cuts to the state's need-based scholarship program, university officials started agitating. In early September, a coalition of Illinois college presidents traveled to Springfield for a lobbying session. Some are now taking more creative approaches, as well. On September 24, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Chancellor Samuel Goldman sent a letter to the school's alumni association describing the importance of the program and asking former students to visit the state capitol during the upcoming veto session or call their legislators. An excerpt:
Here at SIUC, the reduction of MAP funding will be devastating for more than 5,000 students who, as a consequence, may not have sufficient financial support to register for classes in the spring semester.
I'm sure you would agree that we don't want to see our students' pursuit of their dreams put on hold -- or, even worse, abandoned completely.
Read the whole thing here.
At the University of Illinois-Chicago yesterday, Quinn reiterated his support for a $1 cigarette tax which he projects could raise $365 million by its second year to cover the MAP funding deficit. House Republicans favor a plan to allow delinquent taxpayers a six-week window (beginning January 1) to pay back income and sales taxes without interest or penalty. They estimate the approach could raise $104.9 million. For now, the Sun-Times says both options should be pursued.
Any compromise that could prevent more debt for close to 140,000 students is critical. But the state's woeful support for higher education won't be changed until a sustainable revenue source is created.