Graduates shouldn't be limited to in-state opportunities

Roughly 140,000 students in Illinois are receiving the Monetary Award Program grant. This means 140,000 students are attending college now and not expecting to repay the grant money.  

MAP grants are given to Illinois residents who demonstrate financial need and attend approved colleges; funding for the program is around $373 million, according to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission website.

The Daily Illini stated that State senator Chapin Rose (R-51) introduced four bills into the General Assembly to alter eligibility and payment requirements for the grants.

A new measure recently introduced in the Senate would require students to pay back their MAP grant with 5 percent interest if they left the state of Illinois within five years of graduation.

Students who receive the grant need the money to attend college, and this is something that may not be feasible for them to repay once they graduate. As such, MAP grant recipients should be able to leave Illinois and get a job wherever they can, and it does not seem fair to force them to ignore any out-of-state opportunities if they arise. 

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    Students attend college for the purpose of finding a good job once they graduate. Making graduates stay in Illinois for five years after they graduate limits their job options.

    While it would be beneficial for Illinois’ economy if students could stay in state, these students should not have to limit their job options to one state. In addition, the state should not penalize MAP grant students for pursuing endeavors elsewhere after graduation, especially if they are getting solid job opportunities. 

    If the measure goes through, a graduate who received a MAP grant may have to choose between taking their dream job out of state and having to repay their grant, or taking a job they don’t want in Illinois, because they cannot afford to leave the state and repay their grant. 

    Students who needed the MAP grant in the first place are financially limited, and they may be relying on a good job after college that is outside of Illinois. 

    Everyone should have the option to attend college, no matter their financial situation. MAP grants help those people who otherwise may not have been able to afford college. Requiring students, who receive MAP grants, to stay in-state for five years after graduating seems limiting. 

    It is important to grow Illinois’ economy, but it is also highly important that recent graduates can find jobs, no matter what state that job is in.