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Students head to Springfield to push for MAP funding

Monday, October 12, 2009  
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For immediate release – 10/12/09
Contact: Chuck Brown, Communications, 815-226-3374

Students from Rockford College will travel to Springfield this Thursday to lobby for the restoration of funding for a popular state financial aid program.

The need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP) stands to lose all its funding for second semester unless earlier cutbacks announced by Gov. Pat Quinn are restored. The $200 million in cuts come in the wake of the state’s severe budget problems. 

More than a dozen students from the college will make the trek to Springfield for day-long lobbying efforts spearheaded by the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. The Rockford group has an appointment with Rep. Chuck Jefferson (D-67th) and hopes to visit with other area legislators during the day.

More than 300 Rockford College students would lose about $700,000 in aid if the cutbacks stand, say college officials. They add that with a 19 percent bachelor’s degree completion rate—the lowest in the state, and an unemployment rate hovering around 17 percent, the Rockford area can ill-afford more obstacles to attaining a college degree.

The lobbying trip is being coordinated at the college by the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement, a campus clearinghouse for student advocacy and community involvement.   

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