Hundreds of college students, including a group from the University of Illinois Springfield, rallied near the state capitol on Thursday, October 15, 2009 to urge lawmakers to fund the Monetary Award Program (MAP).
The students are asking lawmakers to restore $200-million dollars to make MAP grant funds available for the spring 2010 semester. If the funds aren’t restored it could make it hard for some students to pay for school and others fear they might have to drop out.
"The only way we can possibly get it reinstated in time for it to be effective for students to get it in the spring is right now," said UIS Student Government Senator Jaime Casinova.
The cuts to the MAP program would affect about 750 students at UIS who on average receive about $1,900 a semester from the program.
Governor Pat Quinn spoke at the rally telling students he’s working to restore the funds before lawmakers head home at the end of the week.
MAP grants are awarded to students based on financial need and more than 130,000 people across the state receive them every year.
After the rally UIS students met with lawmakers and delivered signed petitions from the campus community asking for the funds to be restored.