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Two students share their MAP stories

Published: Sunday, January 15, 2012

Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 17:08

This year, more than 5,000 DePaul students relied on the Illinois Monetary Award Program to attend university. For twin sisters Ashley and Lauren Maitland, the MAP grant, along with other scholarships, made a difference when they decided to go to this institution.

"Being daughters to a single mom, looking at universities was financially stressful," said Lauren, now a junior and the executive vice president of Student Affairs. "It was only because of our financial aid package that we were able to attend (DePaul)."

When state legislators threatened to cut MAP by 50 percent in 2009, Ashley went to Springfield with other students to show DePaul "how much students depended on this funding." DePaul's supplemental funding eased some of the burden of the cut, Ashley said, but "if Fr. Holtschneider wouldn't have done that, it would have been more funding than we could find quickly."

Now both juniors, the Maitland sisters say that even if the MAP grant would be cut further, they would do everything they could to stay at DePaul, but admit that "it will make it that much more difficult if MAP is cut further."

Ashley currently works two jobs, and Lauren works a job alongside her duties as an SGA officer.

"We are doing whatever we can to make sure we will continue to stay at DePaul," said Ashley.

Should MAP receive further cuts, it will not just be DePaul students who are affected, but students statewide.

Lauren, who is helping draft the SGA's "Protect DePaul" plan, hopes other universities will recognize the need for a strong response.

"[This is] not just an issue for DePaul students," said Lauren. "This is something that unites all Illinois college students…all college students that receive MAP grants will be affected."

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