Despite No Promise of State Funding, LC Leadership Shows Commitment to Students

LINCOLN, IL — Despite ongoing uncertainty for the end to the months-long state budget stalemate that is holding up funding for Illinois colleges and universities, Lincoln College is stepping up to ensure its students will have the resources needed to attend Lincoln College in the fall.

Lincoln College’s Board of Trustees and President David Gerlach announced the college will fully fund grants through the Monetary Award Program (MAP) for all qualifying students for the fall 2016 semester.

“I could not be more proud of our Board of Trustees for making this commitment. I only hope that their decision to put students first will be noted by political leaders in Illinois,” said, Dr. David Gerlach, President of Lincoln College.

During the 2015 fall semester, Lincoln College covered the full cost of MAP grants for qualified students by using its line-of-credit borrowing arrangement with lenders in the belief the state would resolve its budget. For the 2016 spring semester, with a state budget still not in place, the college made the difficult decision to reduce by 40 percent the portion of what it would cover, while still funding the remaining 60 percent.

“The Board of Trustees felt strongly that we could not fulfil the essential mission of Lincoln College without assuring students that the MAP funding they have earned would be available to them, even though our state government has failed to meet its obligations,” Gerlach added.

President Gerlach, the Board of Trustees and Administration made the decision to provide full MAP funding for the fall because students need certainty as they make decisions in the coming weeks about where to attend college.

“Uncertainty about MAP funding should not make it harder for students to pick the college that best meets their needs.  Lincoln College is committed to providing an outstanding education at an affordable price, and we are excited about what lies ahead with our transformation to a four-year university with expanded course and major offerings and opportunities for students,” Gerlach said.

Lincoln College was founded in 1865, in part to provide an affordable education to Illinois students who might not otherwise be able to attend college. Almost two-thirds of Lincoln College students currently receive grants through MAP Grants, at an average amount of more than $4,000 per student.

“This is a courageous stand by the Trustees. It is not without risk, but they felt strongly that it is the right thing to do. I hope our students, the faculty, staff and the greater Lincoln College community appreciate the strong contrast between the Trustees and their commitment to the future of Illinois and the paralysis that continues to plague state government,” Gerlach added.