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Donor gift helps MC cover lack of MAP assistance

Barry McNamara
07/05/2012
The opportunity to turn a college dream into a reality just got a boost for potential Monmouth College students, thanks to an unconventional gift from an alumnus. The anonymous donor stepped forward with the donation to his alma mater when he learned that potential students could not receive financial aid through the Illinois Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) when the fund was depleted in March.

Illinois’ MAP currently provides grants to an estimated 150,000 residents attending in-state colleges and universities. State Sen. John Sullivan, whose district covers Monmouth, and other state lawmakers have worked tirelessly to keep the crucial program solvent. In March, however, money allocated for the program ran out, and students expecting to receive approximately $4,500 through MAP were left wondering if they would have to wait to begin their college careers.

MC officials hope the Monmouth College MAP Assistance Replacement Fund will open the door to Illinois students whose plans to attend college were shut out by the early closing of MAP funds. To receive the new assistance, prospective students must meet Monmouth College’s admission requirements, as well as financial aid criteria.

“I received an outstanding education at Monmouth College,” said the donor, who went on to have a successful business career. “It saddened me to think about an empty chair in a Monmouth classroom this fall because a potential student had missed out on the Illinois MAP funds. I knew I had to step up and help make it possible for these students to realize their dreams.”

“This generous donation is an extraordinary example of how everyone can do their part to help our younger generation receive the education they need to fulfill their goals,” said Monmouth College president Mauri Ditzler. “Parents are making sacrifices and the State of Illinois has made its sacrifices. We’re all pulling together to get through these tough times and ensure that higher education opportunities are available to those who want to attend college. We are so grateful to our generous alumnus who saw a need and took action.”

“I firmly believe making higher education more accessible and affordable is essential to economic growth and quality of life in Illinois,” said Sen. Sullivan. “I fought to maintain funding for MAP grants this year amid deep reductions in most areas of the state’s budget. I’m pleased Monmouth College and its alumni are working to help young people stay in college whenever possible. This is an investment in our students, and we’re all the better for it.”

The MAP replacement assistance will only be offered for students’ first year at Monmouth College and will cover the approximate $4,500 per student grant typically funded by the Illinois MAP program. After that, the students and their families will be responsible for applying as early as possible for future MAP grants.

Students interested in applying to Monmouth for the first time or in re-opening their applications should contact the office of admissions at 1-800-74SCOTS or email admissions@monmouthcollege.edu. The MAP replacement funding is limited, so students are encouraged to express their interest as soon as possible.

“We are hopeful that this grant opportunity will help students who are driven, motivated individuals looking to make a difference in their community, the country and the world,” concluded Ditzler.