CARBONDALE — SIU is expected to take a hit in student financial aid after a mistake by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is causing the agency to enact a 10 percent cut in its Monetary Awards Program grants.
President Glenn Poshard said Monday afternoon the raw numbers were unclear at this point, but the SIU system typically has more students with MAP grants than other Illinois universities.
Illinois State University, for instance, stands to lose about $50,000, according to The Associated Press.
“We probably would have a little bit more than that between the two campuses,” Poshard said. “The expectations will be that we’ll have to recover those funds and probably have to pay them back.”
Easier said than done in this fiscal climate, Poshard added but said if ISAC demands it, SIU will try.
ISAC announced the 10 percent cut after a shortage of money caused by an increase in student demand. The shortage happened because of a miscalculation when more students than expected claimed grants this spring, said ISAC spokesman John Samuels. The cuts total about $2 million statewide, The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported Monday.
The agency notifies more students about grants than it has money for in expectation that not all students will collect.
During the fall semester students claimed less money than expected but, “then, all of a sudden, the claim rate shot up for the second term,” Samuels said.
About 141,000 students statewide receive MAP grants, which are awarded based on a filing date for those who qualify. The state agency consulted with school financial aid leaders and decided to focus on 9,800 students who received grant money after an extended acceptance date. Those students shouldn’t be affected because most schools will absorb the cuts.
— Caleb Hale of The Southern Illinoisan contributed information to this article