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Monmouth College to guarantee MAP grants for 2017-18 school year

Duane Bonifer
A group of students walk steps near Wallace Hall at Monmouth College. The college is continuing its commitment to students who rely on MAP grant funding in the wake of the Illinois budget stalemate.
Monmouth College will continue to guarantee a Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grant for students in the 2017-18 school year, even if the state of Illinois fails to fund the student aid program.

Should the state of Illinois not fulfill its commitment to students and leave MAP grants unfunded, the College will cover the amount of any awarded MAP grants for the 2017-18 academic year.

“For the last two school years, Monmouth College has told students that the College has made plans to fund their MAP grants if the state of Illinois did not keep their promise to them,” said Monmouth Vice President of Enrollment Management and Communications Trent Gilbert. “We’re hopeful that state lawmakers and the governor will once again reach a last-minute agreement to provide funding for the MAP grants in 2017-18, but if they do not, Monmouth will not hold students responsible for the amount of MAP grants they are to be awarded by the state of Illinois.”

This school year, about 500 Monmouth students qualified for about $2 million in MAP grants, which have yet to be funded by the state Illinois. Monmouth has already promised to cover those students’ MAP grants. The College has guaranteed that it will cover students’ MAP grant awards since the 2015-16 school year.

Monmouth College President Dr. Clarence R. Wyatt said the College’s decision to continue to guarantee MAP grants reflects the institution’s commitment to both its students and the state of Illinois.

“The State of Illinois faces many difficult choices, but the young people of our state — who are, after all, the future of Illinois — should not be held hostage to them,” Wyatt said. “Report after report makes clear that Illinois is losing talented young people to colleges and universities in other states. Those young people are likely not to return to Illinois. We cannot solve this issue for all of Illinois. But we can make this assurance — that bright and motivated young people can come to Monmouth without concern regarding the MAP award.”

Gilbert said the College’s decision to guarantee MAP grants for 2017-18 should help allay “a great deal of anxiety” among students and their families.

“In talking with students and their family members, there is a great deal of anxiety concerning the MAP grant because families want to know if that money will be available to help them afford a college education in 2017-18,” said Monmouth Vice President of Enrollment Management and Communications Trent Gilbert. “Monmouth is committed to being a college of high opportunity, and it is important to us that we remove this potential barrier to our families so they can focus on what’s important — selecting the best place to attend college.”