MAP grants face reduction

An unexpected increase of applications for financial aid has created a financial burden for Bradley students.

Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants will be reduced by five percent for this semester because of a 45 percent increase in applications for the grant.

Vice President of Student Affairs Alan Galsky said the decision for this reduction was made by the state legislatures of Illinois.

“There are 1,375 students who receive MAP grants,” he said. “The awards will be reduced by five percent but the actual dollar amount of each individual’s reward reduction will not exceed $125.”

Sophomore journalism major Jacob Terranova said he is furious about the sudden change.

“We just got an e-mail this week about the change,” he said. “It’s the middle of the semester and I thought I was all taken care of and all my fees for the semester were paid. But now I have to pay out of pocket and it is due in the next few weeks.”

Galsky said they were unaware of the possibility of a reduction, and were therefore unable to alleviate students from extra financial burden.

“We had no indication that this was going to happen until it happened,” he said. “We would have liked to help students out but we haven’t budgeted for this and we weren’t in the right position.”

Terranova said he is concerned  his financial aid will continue to decrease over his next two years of school.

“It freaks me out that they are reducing the grant now because maybe next year and the year after my grant will be smaller,” he said. “If the price of tuition continues to go up and financial aid goes down I don’t see why freshmen would want to come here.”

Galsky said his biggest concern is the risk that the grant would be dramatically reduced like it almost was during the fall of 2009.

“My real concern is that we would experience what happened last fall,” he said. “If the state doesn’t continue to get its financial housing … I am absolutely sure that we would lose a fair amount of the 1,375 students.”

Sophomore elementary education major Colleen Ruopp said she is also concerned about the possibility her financial aid will continue to decrease.

“People who apply for MAP grants need financial aid and I am concerned that I wont receive as much aid next year,” she said. “If that is the case it definitely will create a financial burden on my family.”

Although there may be a larger financial burden, Ruopp said she is glad they are helping more people in need.

“I am less upset than I would be if the reason for this reduction was because the state ran out of funding,” she said. “More people applied for grants and the reduction means they are helping more people.”