Amanda Collins

Op-ed: Financial aid crisis hits low-income students

One hundred thirty thousand college students in Illinois are on the brink of a crisis that no one is talking about. These are the low-income students who were counting on the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) to afford tuition payments. But with the state budget process at a grinding halt, they face the threat of having to “pay back” thousands of dollars in financial aid that they already were promised. If money for MAP isn’t appropriated in the next couple of weeks, those students will face a terrible decision. MAP gives assistance to students who demonstrate financial need, and I know firsthand the difference that it can make.