EC administration responds to Springfield

Internet Photo - Illinois Governer Bruce Rauner and the democratic house are at odds with a budget for MAP. The Elmhurst College administration has assured the student body that the college will cover approximately 700 students who may potentially not be covered by their MAP grant.

Since a budget impasse in Springfield over the past year bill 2043 was passed by both the Illinois senate and the House of representative, which was eventually vetoed by Governor Bruce Rauner and then failed to be overridden by the House.

In a press release, Bruce Rauner’s administration stated that there is no source for funding the $271 million necessary to fund an estimated 125,000 MAP grant recepients.

"It would explode the state's budget deficit, exacerbate the state's cash flow crisis, and place further strain on social service providers and recipients who are already suffering from the State's deficit spending,” Rauner told the Associated Press.

In response to the potential cuts of MAP funds to college students, former intern president Larry Braskamp sent out a campus wide email to the campus promising that the college will cover any necessary aid.

“We at Elmhurst College have decided to honor the MAP grants promised to the approximately 700 Elmhurst students who would have received a total of $3.5 million from the state this year.

In an email interview Braskamp states that since the Fall of 2015 the college has prepared to cover any expenses necessary to any MAP grant recipients.

“Last fall we, the Board of Trustees at Elmhurst College, decided we would honor the MAP grants to the students for the fall semester,” he said. “More recently we also decided to support the students enrolled during this semester.”

Braskamp expressed the need to help cover Elmhurst College students to be as it would potentially cost any of the students missing their MAP funding to possibly lose their enrollment.

“Students who receive MAP grants do not have the financial resources to assume that extra debt which can be up to around $4000 per year,” he said. “It is not the students fault that the state has not yet funded the MAP program.”

The House democrats, however, are finding alternative means to combat Rauners veto to fund higher education.

Spokesperson for Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan told The Chicago Tribune that they would rely on dollars from special funds in which a provision in Rauner’s budget proposal allows the state to forgo repaying more than $450 million that was borrowed from other funds that was used to plug last years deficit.

Braskamp said in the email interview that the administration will further discuss any future plans past this spring term on how the college will handle the situation should MAP grant funding be compromised indefinitely.

Braskamp also stated that the administration is appreciative of the efforts of the student body over the past month with the schools MAP grant week.

“And we encourage students and their parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and local Elmhurst citizens to continue to contact the legislators and the Governor about MAP,” he said. “We still remain hopeful that MAP will be funded.