Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

College remains "uncertain" about MAP despite passed budget

Following the approval of a stopgap budget from the state of Illinois on July 1st, Augustana has now been promised the money needed to pick up the cost of the Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grants awarded to the college’s students during the 2015-2016 school year.
(Read about the way Augustana decided to fund MAP grants for the 2015 school year by clicking here)
However, even with this new budget being passed, Kent Barnds, VP of enrollment, communication and planning for the college said uncertainty still exists.
“We do not know when the funds will be received” said Barnds. “students are essentially now in a long line awaiting their funds like many other people.”
About 25 percent of Augustana’s students receive the MAP grant. When the state failed to fund the grants at first, Augustana agreed to pick up the cost for the 2015-2016 school year and for the 2017 year as well, an annual cost of about 3.2 million dollars.
“Once you’re admitted as a student to Augustana College, we’re going to work with you to keep you here,” said President Steven Bahls in February.
Barnds said that the uncertainty does not stop there.
“We have witnessed a large amount of dysfunction” said Barnds about the government’s action and inaction in passing a budget.
He said while the college has agreed to fund the next years worth of MAP grants if a budget is not passed, it is “very hard to predict” weather or not the college will continue to do so in the future. He said that the college’s decision to fund the grants when necessary is influenced by a recommendation of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)
“Legislature needs to come together and make decisions” said Barnds.
Many people are saying that they do not believe a full, and trustworthy budget will be reached by the state until after the election in November.

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College remains "uncertain" about MAP despite passed budget