Higher education reps. ‘cautiously optimistic’ about community college and MAP grant funding

Some heads of Illinois universities and community colleges are still trying to understand how much they will be helped by the $1 billion stopgap appropriation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner yesterday.

Carl Sandburg College President Lori Sundberg tells WGIL she’s optimistic that a budget was passed after Sandburg only received about 20 percent of the funds they were counting on last year.

“What I’m really interested in knowing more about is, we have the appropriation obviously by the two assemblies and the governor. I just want to make sure there’s actually cash there to disburse,” Sundberg says.

It’s not yet clear how much funding Sandburg can expect.

Sundberg says the allocations have been made to the system, but now Illinois Community College Board CFO Ellen Andres will make disbursements to schools based on the funding formula.

MAP grant funding is the “highlight” for the Sandburg president, benefiting about 1,500 CSC students.

Knox College Director of Government and Community Relations Karrie Heartlein tells WGIL knowing MAP grants are available for her school is a “big relief for everyone.”

“The MAP grant has been an issue for the entire year and our students have been living in a certain kind of limbo with this uncertainty,” Heartlein says.

In a news release, Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas says that his university’s share of the MAP appropriation is $5.1 million.

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