Students lobby for MAP funding

Students lobby for MAP funding

Johnna Schultz (from left), Taylor Gunia, Nicole Musselman, April Kutz, Christian Bender, Tiernan Ebener, Advisor Cory Tomasson and Max Halm meet with state Sen. Sue Rezin on the Senate floor in Springfield on April 2 to lobby for increased funding towards the Monetary Assistance Program grants. Students from throughout the state took part in this Illinois Student Assistance Commission event.

IVCC Student Government attended Student Advocacy Day at the Capitol building in Springfield on April 2 to lobby state lawmakers about funding of the Monetary Assistance Program.
Representatives from IVCC’s SGA group met with both state Sen. Sue Rezin and state Rep. Frank Mauntino, who also is the House Majority Leader, resulting in Mautino sponsoring legislation to improve MAP Grant funding to community colleges.
Prior to heading to the Capitol, the group met at the Crowne Plaza Hotel alongside hundreds of other representatives and trustees from community colleges statewide to learn about the MAP Grant program.
According to Illinois Student Assistance Commission information, MAP is a $420 million dollar state fund that grants money to six different sectors: public universities, private non-profit, public community colleges, private twoyears, hospital, and proprietary.
SGA advisor Cory Tomasson informed members that the state goal is to give a 30:30:30 ratio to the first three sectors mentioned (public universities, private non-profit, and public community colleges).
Since the 2010-11 school year, public community colleges have received about 37 percent of the MAP awards annually, according to ISAC. However, this a deceitful number as the annual payout since the 2010-11 school year has only been about 13.5 percent while public universities and private non-profit receive an annual payout of about 40 percent each, ISAC indicated.
As the funds trickle down, public community colleges suffer when the funds run out, thus causing a large number of student applications for MAP to get rejected.
Having their own children attending or about to attend college, both Rezin and Mautino were receptive to sit down and discuss the MAP grant, SGA members said.
SGA members proposed a partition in which 15 percent of the MAP Grant be set aside for the lone use of public community colleges. Secondly, the group proposed adding another financial aid deadline later in the spring or early summer for all the students whom miss the first deadline in February. Then, some of that 15 percent partition would be used strictly for the later applications.
As an incentive, SGA members did not ask for any new money, just for level funding.
According to the students, Rezin felt that there was an imbalance of the funds used from the MAP Grant. She agreed that a partition would be a necessary item in order to guarantee funds for students at public community colleges.
She also acknowledged a second deadline for applications would help those students who register late for school.
Students in attendance said Mauntino also understood the proposal; however, he was fast to point out the possible consequences.
He told SGA members that in order for the MAP partition to occur, the Illinois tax extension would need to be either made permanent or further extended.
He also informed students that if the governor’s new bill failed to pass, community colleges throughout Illinois would experience a 20 percent cut of funds, which would null any possibilities of proposals being accepted.
After the Lobby Day, Mautino introduced a bill for the SGA proposal of the partition and increased the partition amount from 15 percent to 20 percent.
IVCC students attending Lobby Day included Johnna Schultz, Taylor Gunia, Nicole Musselman, Christian Bender, Tiernan Ebener, April Kutz and Max Halm.

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