Education Desk: Treasurer Pleads Case For MAP Grants

Sep 23, 2015

Jamie Anderson talks about the MAP grant as State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, State Rep. Sue Scherer, and students Kylie Gilmore (far left) and Yaw Kesse look on.
Credit UIS Senior Photographer Shannon O’Brien

Jamie Anderson grew up in the foster care system. She relies on her 4-thousand-dollar MAP grant to pay tuition at the University of Illinois Springfield. She says she works two jobs totaling 50 hours a week to cover living expenses.

So what does she do in her spare time?

“I volunteer with kids,” Anderson says. "I’m in the 4-H program, I’m a mentor, I’m in Big Brother Big Sisters Program, so I’m a Big….” 

Hoping to become a child welfare worker, she’s set to graduate in May with a degree in social work. But like the other 130,000 needy Illinois college students, Anderson needs lawmakers to fund the Monetary Award Program. 

Most campuses, including UIS, have floated students in the fall semester, counting on eventual repayment from the state. But State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says college administrators around Illinois have told him they cannot afford to make the same bet for the spring semester. 

“I’ve spoken with presidents at other college campuses, other university campuses around the state, and they have told me in no uncertain terms — we cannot do this in the second semester. That will have to stop,” Frerichs says. 

MAP is one of the many programs that was left unfunded when lawmakers and the governor failed to agree on a state budget. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation this summer that would have funded the MAP program.