11.5% of Eastern MAP Grant recipients not eligible under proposed criteria

Stephanie Markham, News Editor

Out of the 2,460 students who currently receive MAP Grants at Eastern, 11.5 percent of them would not be considered eligible for them under a new bill that was proposed in the Illinois House.

Carol Waldmann, the interim director of financial aid, said 284 of the students who are receiving MAP Grants this year did not have a 3.0 GPA or an 18 ACT score coming out of high school, which are the criteria to receive the grant under House Bill 3974.

Rep. Reggie Phillips first filed the bill on Feb. 27; it was referred to the House Rules Committee on Monday and the Higher Education Committee on Tuesday.

The bill would amend the Higher Education Student Assistance Act to say that beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year, an applicant who is a freshman dependent college student must have achieved an 18 composite score on their ACT or a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale in high school to be eligible to receive MAP Grants.

Waldman said the 284 MAP Grant recipients at Eastern receive a total of $1,093,355 from the grant program.

She said of those students, 189 are female and 95 are male, while 52 are white, nine have unknown ethnicity reported and 223 are other than white.

Waldmann said she is concerned this bill might adversely affect the ability of women and racial minorities to attend college.

She said she is also wondering how much it would cost for the state to manage and monitor the collections of MAP Grants.

Phillips could not be reached for comment about the bill.

Stephanie Markham can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].