Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) students eligible for the Monetary Award Program learned they will have to pay back grant funds allocated to them for the fall semester.
The long-running state budget stalemate -- which has meant no funding for higher education institutions and the state's MAP program for low-income college students -- forced IIT to remove MAP grant credits it fronted students as it awaits funding from the state.
"[B]ecause no resolution to the continuing budget impasse is in sight, the university can no longer maintain the pending MAP credit that was issued to your student account for the Fall 2015 semester," reads a letter IIT sent to students last Wednesday.
"This credit," the letter added, "will be removed from your account effective as of March 23, 2016, which will automatically trigger our system to place a registration hold on your account."
IIT officials say students can access a MAP Grant Replacement Loan. Through the loan, students can pay their "outstanding balance in twelve monthly installments, beginning September 1, 2016," according to IIT, which added that "no interest will accrue on the loan principal until the beginning of the repayment period."
MAP-eligible students will get a refund if IIT receives MAP funding from the state.
"[I]n the event that MAP funds are received by Illinois Tech after you have paid your balance (or after you have started making payments on the MAP Replacement Loan), Illinois Tech will issue you a refund for the difference between the MAP funds received and the amount that you have paid on your loan," the letter detailed.