The Monetary Award Program grant changed its regulations, but it is unlikely there will be a repeat of last fall’s uproar, said Financial Assistance Director David Pardieck.
“The MAP grant, at this point in time, is rock solid,” he said. “It is funded at $400 million.”
Pardieck said while the possibility
of the grant being withheld is possible, it would be surprising.
“For students who filed FAFSA late, the state indicated they were not going to have enough money to fulfill the demand they were seeing,” he said. “So students who filed after April 29 did not receive the MAP grant, most of them being at community colleges.”
Less than 50 Bradley students were rejected after filing late, and most of them still enrolled, Pardieck said.
“It appears they made up for it by taking out more parent or student
loans,” he said. “Typically, the Student Assistance Commission will fund students who file FAFSA as late as mid-June, so moving it to mid-April certainly affected some students, but is sort of understood at Bradley that March 1 is the deadline date, and families here have been very responsible about that.”
Pardieck said the shortened deadline is a statewide concern, but Bradley was virtually unaffected.
“[University President Joanne] Glasser and her cabinet are very attuned to what’s going on with MAP grant, and we’re going to continue to watch it until the state budget woes are more behind us,” he said. “But we are not anticipating
a repeat of last October.”
Student Body President Nick Swiatkowski said he agrees the MAP grant is safe, at least for this year.
“It’s an election year, and I don’t think the politicians would be crazy enough to cut that,” he said. “But if it were to happen, we’d rally with other schools.”
Swiatkowski said the amount of money allotted to Bradley this year increased from last year, and nearly 100 students were turned down last year as opposed to this year’s 50.
“Most people who were rejected
are not attending a private university,”
he said. “With unemployment
the way it is, nationally a lot of people are going to apply for it. My advice would just be to make sure you file your FAFSA by March 1.”
Regardless of how crucial the MAP grant is to funding some students’ educations, the officials hold the power to continue supporting
it, Swiatkowski said.
“On a collegiate level, it would affect us, and we believe it is vital,” he said. “But it’s up to their beliefs to determine if it’s a worthwhile cause.”