Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Budget impasse hurting college students

It's day 84 without a budget and one of the state's constitutional officers says the suffering has gone on long enough. Treasurer Mike Frerichs took that message to the University of Illinois Springfield Tuesday.

Right now, state universities are struggling to make ends meet because they haven't received their portion of higher education funding from the state. Students are facing the same problem because the state hasn't paid out MAP grants either. MAP grants are awarded on the basis of need.

University of Illinois Springfield Senior, Jamie Anderson, spent 11 years as a foster child, without MAP grants she says she couldn't have overcome her situation.

"My family never went to college. I was poor. I was made fun of. I was told I was not going to graduate high school and I wouldn't be where I am today," said Anderson.

130,000 students across the state rely on state funded MAP grants to help them pay for college. 800 students at UIS use them every year and now they're worried politics is getting in the way of their opportunity.

UIS is giving MAP grant students their money with the hopes that once the budget impasse ends the state will make good on their promises.

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on September 24, 2015.

Watch the story online.