More Students Leaving Illinois For College?

Members of the Illinois assembly meet in the House chambers, at the state Capitol. Pieces of Illinois Democrats' proposed state budget are coming into focus as lawmakers begin advancing them in the Legislature ahead of a scheduled Sunday adj

Members of the Illinois assembly meet in the House chambers at the state Capitol. The state is in its tenth month without a budget.

Sara Burnett/AP Photo

As the Illinois budget stalemate enters its tenth month, a high school counselor sees the impasse having an impact on her students’ college choices.  Lisa Micele is the Director of College Counseling at University Laboratory High School in Urbana.  In an interview with Illinois Public Media’s Brian Moline, Micele says the lack of funding for the Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants, is having an impact on lower income families.

"So I think that the worry is the neediest students in our state because the MAP grant that the Illinois Student Assistance Commission has been writing about is so up in the air," Micele said.  "The fear is wanting to keep the best and the brightest in our state may not be the best cost-effective choice for the family."

There has been no state funding for higher education during the budget impasse, including MAP grants, which are based on financial need.  Colleges and universities throughout the state have been covering the cost of those grants during this academic year, but the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago has recently asked students to pay back the amount of those grants that they were credited for the fall semester.

In the interview, Micele also discussed what things students and parents should look for in financial aid reward letters from colleges and universities before they decide where to attend.

Story source: WILL