Tuesday, December 15, 2015

No money, mo' problems

Thousands of college students in Illinois are starting to feel the effects of the budget impasse that has left many state government agencies with limited funding. Included in that group is the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which distributes MAP grants to help college students.

At the University of Illinois Springfield, the administration applied the MAP grants to students’ accounts and has made a commitment to also apply funds for the spring semester, said Carolyn Schloemann, acting director of the Office of Financial Assistance at UIS.

“Our students, at this time, are not feeling any adverse consequences to the fact that the budget hasn’t been passed,” she said.

So far, UIS has done what they do with the MAP grants every year. Money is applied to eligible students’ financial aid accounts at the beginning of the semester. Then, in October, the school begins billing the state for what they paid out for the fall semester; billing would continue until the deadline in December. Finally, in late December or early January, the state would begin reimbursing the school.

Except this year, they aren’t expecting any money from the state.

“That’s the different piece now,” Schloemann said.

UIS is seeing the budget impasse affect them in other ways, said UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp. UIS has limited spending, and hiring for vacant positions has temporarily stopped. Additionally, a new public safety building has been put on hold.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register's Voice Section on December 15, 2015.

Read the article online.