BY TEAGAN SCHWAB
For many of the Bearcats who reside in Illinois, receiving the MAP grant is a make or break deal for attending McKendree. Over the last few weeks, students rallied to try to get Governor Rauner to sign the bill to continue funding for the MAP grant.
Sophomore Emma Lewis explains that without the MAP grant, she might not be able to attend McKendree anymore. “The MAP grant basically determines if I go to McKendree again or not,” she says, “especially since I am paying for college myself.”
Student Government Association (SGA) member Bella Fuentes finds the situation very frustrating. “I never thought the help we get to pay for education would be a problem and actually be taken away from us,” she says. “How does the government expect students to make this state and country better when they don’t even want to assist us with higher education? Out of all things they could stop funding! This will negatively impact so many people, in my opinion; it’s sad that some students will not be able to go back to college next semester because of the grant cut.”
To voice her opinion, Fuentes attended protests at the Illinois Capitol building with her fellow SGA members and other students to stand in unity. Fuentes stated, “The protest was empowering, and it opened my eyes to how many colleges, and the students in it, will be affected. I realized how important the MAP grant was, not only to me, but to many other students in this state. There was a sense of unity at the protest, knowing we were all there to fight for the same cause.”
Fuentes and Lewis aren’t the only Bearcats that want the MAP grant to be funded. Sophomore Daniel Takacs states: “The grant helps out a lot for me financially and is one of the main reasons why I am able to go to McKendree. I think, if they end up taking away the MAP grant or reducing funds from it, the student population will go down quite significantly.”
There are approximately 500 students that receive the MAP grant at McKendree University. This means that if the MAP grant is no longer funded, then those students may have to drop out of McKendree. As a reminder, McKendree offers numerous scholarships, so do not hesitate to go out for those or others you may know about. Education is key, so let’s do what it takes to make sure we all will have one.