MAP grants secure for spring semester

IV Leader Staff

Illinois Valley Community College will cover state financial aid payments to students this spring despite the ongoing budget stalemate in Springfield, President Jerry Corcoran announced at Thursday’s board meeting. While other Illinois community  colleges are still undecided or opting not to cover spring Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, Corcoran vowed IVCC would honor financial aid promises made to students by the state. “We will send a message to those most in need that their spring financial aid is secure,” Corcoran said. “Students should not suffer from a problem not of their own making. I understand other community colleges may not be in a position to cover MAP for spring but we will continue to do everything we can
to provide access to IVCC. Affordable tuition and access to financial aid are among the top reasons students choose IVCC.” Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema said covering MAP awards for the academic year will cost IVCC an estimated $600,000, or $300,000 each semester. About 500 students enrolled at IVCC this year qualify for MAP grants. Following a recent meeting in Champaign with the Council of Presidents, Corcoran is not optimistic. “Once a budget is approved, we may not see any funding for five to six months. The situation is not good and I’m concerned we may not see any state funding in fiscal 2016,” he said. With the budget crisis looming, supporters of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at IVCC addressed the board. Oglesby accountant Jay Baxter and Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Director Boyd Palmer said the SBDC has been an important community resource for over 30 years. Kelly Klobucher of the Hegeler Carus Foundation, another member of the organization’s advisory committee, handed board members a letter and urged them to continue backing the SBDC.