Wednesday, February 17, 2016

State grants for schools could be cut due to budget

Illinois has now gone eight months without a state budget.

With the lack of state dollars, college students are feeling the pressure. Financial aid programs, that are meant to help with the burden of costs, could soon be cut

"We have reached the breaking point when it comes to this budget impasse," said Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

Eight months without a budget is starting to take a toll on a couple students.

Senator Durbin met with higher education officials Monday in effort to warn people about the lack of money for student financial aid.

"Now we have to realize, that if we jeopardize higher education for these students. We could pay the price for a long, long time to come," he added.

Students fear the state could cut MAP grants, which provide $5,000 toward their education.

"We're playing with people's dreams here now. Eight months into this, people have to worry about if they can come back to school next semester; be the lawyer that sought out to be; or be the social worker they sought out to be," said University of Illinois Springfield Senior Jamie Anderson.

Even if lawmakers are able to come to agreement, the MAP grants could be lower, which isn't sitting well with students.

"I would not be the student I am today if I did not receive the MAP grant funding. Nobody can just come up with $20 to $26,000 for school," said Anderson.

Senior Dominique Wilson has received map funding each year of his college education. And he's counting on the money this year as well.

"That support for my life, for my education, my goals may not happen and may be taken away from me because of the uncertainty going on with the budget," said UIS Senior Dominique Wilson.

The story was featured on WICS-TV on February 15, 2016.

Watch the story online