Save the Monetary Award Program
We, the People of the State of Illinois - grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He has permitted us to enjoy and seeking His blessing upon our endeavors - in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people; maintain a representative and orderly government; eliminate poverty and inequality; assure legal, social and economic justice; provide opportunity for the fullest development of the individual; insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense; and secure the blessings of freedom and liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of Illinois.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)
SECTION 5. RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE AND PETITION
The people have the right to assemble in a peaceable manner, to consult for the common good, to make known their opinions to their representatives and to apply for redress of grievances.
(Source: Illinois Constitution.)
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is the state’s central provider of financial assistance for students and families seeking access to higher education and/or training. The ISAC also supports the Monetary Award Program (MAP) provides grants, which do not need to be repaid, to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need, based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Students are not required to submit high school grades or test scores when applying for a MAP grant.
Colleges use the MAP formula to determine eligibility. The formula distributes the appropriated funds so that the neediest students receive grant assistance. Several components are used to determine eligibility, including: information provided on your FAFSA [from which your expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated], the cost of attendance at the college you plan to attend, and the amount of other financial aid the students will receive.
Illinois is now trying to say that these students will not receive any of the grants that they were promised. If these students do not receive the grant the were promised in full they will have to pay the amount of the grant in full or the students will have to drop out of college. The MAP grant servers approximately 140,000 students, is critical to providing higher educational opportunities for those individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford college. 58% of MAP grant recipients are so low-income that the federal government doesn't consider them able to contribute any resources to pay for college. In 2014, the average family income of a dependent (“traditional”) MAP recipient was $30,000/year, and the average income of an independent (“non-traditional”) MAP recipient was $16,000/year. These students would be expected to pay $30,000 to their college before then end of the semester or, the students would be expected to take out another loan to cover the amount of money promised to them by the MAP grant. 57% of MAP recipients are first-generation college students. These first-generation college students might not be able to fulfill their dream of graduating from college due to the outrageous amount of money they would suddenly be expected to pay. The MAP grant recipients, even though they come from lower income families graduate at the same rate as students who don’t receive the MAP grant. Why is this? Because the MAP grant helps pay part of their tuition so that the students can focus on their academics rather than working all the time to be able to pay for their education.
Due to budget cuts in Illinois there are over 3,000 student who will not receive their promised MAP grants to help them accomplish their dreams. The MAP grant has most recently reported an underfunded liability of $323,000,000. The MAP grant is supported by a moral obligation commitment of the state. What does this mean? It is simply a government commitment which the issuer (Illinois Government) includes a non-binding commitment in the pledged amount indenture to include a budget recommendation to the legislative body responsible for appropriations, to make up any shortfall in money needed for debt service. Support our legislative representative in finding a solution to the $323,000,000 short-falling of the Illinois budget. Due to their moral obligation commitment, hold our representative responsible for conveying our wishes to our government and, keeping their promises to their citizens they swore to serve at the next general assembly on November 10, 2015.