The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

5 percent gap fixed for students

The university is in the process of appealing to the state of Illinois to restore the 5 percent MAP Grant restriction that students are facing this semester.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has put together a Task Force to respond to MAP funding, said Jerry Donna, the director of financial aid, at the last meeting of the Council of University Planning and Budget on Friday. He added he will prepare a response for the task force.

“It doesn’t just affect our school, it affects all schools in Illinois,” he added.

On Dec. 15 the Illinois Student Assistance Commission notified all Illinois universities they needed to reduce the MAP grants for Spring 2011 by 5 percent in order to avoid exceeding the overall appropriations.

The administration approved the use of Eastern’s waiver budget to cover money that was taken away from students who received the MAP grant for this school year.

“That wasn’t a very happy holiday greeting,” Donna said. “I don’t know of any other institution of the state that is handling it this way.”

The university is allotted a 3 percent waiver budget through the state of Illinois, which is now being used as a one-time measure to eliminate the 5 percent gap for students, said Dan Nadler, the vice president for student affairs.

The university participates in the waiver program, which falls under the discretionary waivers category, said Bob Augustine, the dean of the Graduate School.

The MAP grant is a state-funded program given to eligible students who have applied by the deadline.2,975 students are affected by the MAP Grant decrease in the spring semester alone.

Currently, the university offers $11.7 million in MAP grant funding through the state, with $5.8 million for the spring term.The amount of money that is needed to cover the deduction is somewhere between $250,000 and $290,000, Donna said.

CUPB member Amanda Bos, the assistant athletic director of development, questioned how this money would be used otherwise.

Augustine said this money is funding the university cannot collect from the state.

“The institution will have to review the overall budget to determine the ramifications (of this action),” he said.

“We’ll have to see what this will mean for the university.”

This is not the first time students have had to face difficulties with the MAP grant.

On April 19 of last year, ISAC denied approximately 30,000 applicants due to lack of funding, The Daily Eastern News reported.

In response to this, 13 students from the Student Action Team traveled to Springfield for College Student Lobby Day at the Capitol Building to speak against the funding restrictions on April 22.

Shelley Holmgren can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected]

5 percent gap fixed for students

5 percent gap fixed for students

Taylor Beesley, a sophomore sociology major, waits as her information is copied at the office of financial aid in the Student Services building. (Kimberly Foster


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