MAP Matters - Supporting the MAP Funding Gap | Judson University Christian College
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MAP Matters - Students in Need of Financial Support

At Judson, we are standing in the gap for our students, making sure that their educational journeys do not get derailed, even in the face of dwindling state funds. Although the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds, which were awarded to low-income residents attending in-state colleges or universities up until recently have ended, Judson would still like to support these students’ dreams. So, we are reaching out to you, the arms and legs of the greater Judson community, and asking you to step in. Would you provide a gift of support to help the more than 500 students impacted by the loss of MAP funds on our campus?

MAP Funding Update - May 1, 2016

Partial Funding Secured for MAP

We have received much support from our trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the institution. Everyone has stepped in to begin filling the gap that the lack of state funding created for our students, but our job is not done yet.

In recent days you may have heard that the Illinois Legislature has passed a bill that will partially fund public higher education in the state. That is true, but it is important to note that this bill will only include partial funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) – our best current information is that Judson will receive roughly 50% of the funds owed to us by the state. We feel very blessed that there has been movement on this, but this legislation is only a temporary fix and does not include full funding for state appropriations. We expect to receive funds to cover the grants that were awarded to students for the fall 2015 semester but not the spring 2016 semester.

We ask that you continue to contact local representatives and the governor to let them know how important 100% funding is for students with high financial need within the MAP program. We will continue to stand by our students and we ask that you keep Judson University in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to raise the needed funds to support these students in the absence of full state funding. Please continue to visit this site to learn more about what Judson University is doing to provide for our students.

MAP Destiny Alicea

Destiny Alicea

Destiny Alicea, 20, of Elgin is a sophomore studying elementary education. Destiny chose Judson because she was intrigued by the university’s education program and that it was Christ-centered just further solidified her plans to come here. But it took a lot to get Destiny on campus. Her mom and dad work two jobs. She is the oldest of four children and the first to go to college; and the entire family plays a role in the family’s second job – cleaning offices after hours. “We do it together,” says Destiny, a commuter student. “We're paying bills that have been affecting us for years. This second job helped me to pay this year to come to Judson.”

Scholarships helped to lighten Destiny’s financial load during her freshman year, but now facing the inevitable end of MAP funding grants, she is not sure of her future.

A student worker in the Financial Aid Office, she realizes that she is not alone. “A lot of students are upset and don't know what to do at this point,” she says. “Some are in fear of if they're going to be able to come back and if college is even the answer for them. Everyone endures financial struggles, but it's hard to comprehend why am I going through this.”

Yet, through it all, Destiny holds strong to her faith. “At the moment, I have faith that God will make (returning to Judson) possible; I'm standing firm in my faith,” she says. “But in reality, I may not be back.”

Why should others give? “It's not just a huge amount going to someone’s career, it’s helping families,” she says. “I say, ‘This is my family’s education.’ I'm not in college just for myself. It’s for them, too.”

MAP Darlene Benton

Darlene Benton

Darlene Benton of Elgin is an adult student in Judson’s School of Business and Professional Studies. She returned to school in 2012 to pursue her education, but a lack of understanding about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid prevented her from continuing that year. But she didn’t give up. The next chance she got, Darlene re-enrolled and eventually attained an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and is now working toward completing her bachelor’s degree in Leadership and Business Management next year.

But the road along way has been a bumpy one for Darlene. She has seen her marriage fail, family members (including one of her three children) tragically die and her own body weakened in the face of needed surgery.

Her rock, by all accounts, has been her faith in God, no doubt, but also her education at Judson, which included her ability to rely on MAP funding to make it possible. Darlene pursued higher education to improve her quality of life and to become a better leader in her church and community. One day, she hopes to teach music education in local schools. “Having MAP grants eased my concerns about getting a formal education,” says Darlene, a grandmother of four who lives on a fixed income. “For me, this is huge. Not having to worry about trying to pay monthly fees to get my degree has helped significantly.”

Yet, now facing the end of MAP funding for Darlene just might mean facing a wall she never imagined to be erected. “If it ends, I might have to stop,” says Darlene, who made the Dean’s List during the Spring 2015 semester. “I am at an age now, physically and emotionally, where it is a now-or-never situation. This starting and stopping takes its toll. I’ve come too far now to stop. If I don’t have the opportunity to complete my journey, it would be devastating. Judson has been my backbone.”

MAP Kelly Gimmler

Kelly Gimmler

Kelly Gimmler, 19, of Palatine was always curious about Judson University, the school that sat directly behind her former church.

Kelly knew of a few friends who attended Judson, and pretty soon her curiosity got the best of her. “I thought I’d check out Judson, and when I did, I got hooked – God is good, even though I can’t afford it.

“MAP funding helps me stay here,” Kelly explains. “I need to have as much financial assistance that I can. It makes my life a little easier and less fearful, I guess. I’ve dealt with almost having to leave before, and MAP helps me to stay here.”

Kelly currently has a job working in a call center on campus, and she does respite work on the weekends near her home.

But it doesn’t take long to realize what going to Judson has meant to Kelly. Her very countenance changes at the thought of leaving – for good. “Life would go on, but I love this place,” she says. “I’ve made so many friends. I have a community, and I feel God’s presence here. I would not enjoy leaving. I would miss the faith aspect. I would just, I would …. I don’t want to say I would be disappointed with God, but I would be. Hopefully, he will make a way. I’m grateful for this place, and I can’t imagine not being here.”

MAP Savannah Untersee

Savannah Untersee

Savannah Untersee, 21, of Davis, Ill., is a Christian Ministries major minoring in youth. She hopes to open her own camping organization one day. “I grew up going to camp, and it’s really my passion.”

Savannah lives with her brother, age 18, and her parents. Her mother works in the home and her dad is a security guard at a nearby airport.

When Savannah arrived on campus, it took some time for her to figure out what she really wanted to do, but she soon settled on Christian Ministries.

But going to school takes more than passion, and Savannah has come to realize that. For her, MAP funding could very well make the difference between her attending next year, or not. Period.

“Without MAP funding, it would definitely be hard for me to pay for school. I wouldn’t be able to come here, and my parents wouldn’t be able to afford it,” she says. “I’d have to try to pay out of my own pocket. I probably won’t have any other options.”

It affects her family as a whole. “My dad is freaking out a little bit, he’s having a hard time supporting the family already; and knowing that he can’t really support me in going to school is hard on him,” she says.

A monetary gift, she says, would help to fund her dreams. “It’s hard to find a job, so having that money would give me the experience to learn more and pursue my passions,” Savannah says.

MAP Michael Cole

The Rev. Michael Cole

Michael Cole would have been fine going about his life as a journeyman carpenter, but a series of injuries hurried him to retirement. And, although he is a pastor of a small church in Dixon, Ill., his salary is minimal. It was the sum of those life realities that spurred him to apply to Judson back in 2013 and to consider what life would look like with a college degree, and he hasn’t looked back since.

At age 58, he started Judson at the Rockford campus with no credits. Now, the junior Management and Leadership major maintains a 3.7 GPA and is set to graduate next year.

Yet what had become a steady climb to upward mobility might now crumble beneath this 60-year-old grandfather if MAP funds are no longer available to him.

"My education depends fully on financial aid, and grants that I can receive," he says. "I would not be able to finish my degree and further my career without them. If that happens, I don’t know how I would pay to go to Judson. I would have to walk away from my dream."

For many reasons, Michael doesn’t want this dream for a better future to end. "Having this opportunity to get my degree is not only a personal dream, it’s an encouragement to my parishioners, my grandchildren and other pastoral colleagues," he says. "This has afforded me so many things."


Give Online

Make your credit card gift on Judson’s secure giving site. Use the link on this page and your donation will automatically be designated for students with high financial need who have not received funds from the Illinois State Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Over the Phone

Make a credit card gift over the phone by calling the Judson Advancement office at 847-628-2090.

In Person/By Mail

Stop by the Judson University Advancement Office on the second floor of the Administration Building to make a cash gift.

You can also mail your check to:
Judson University
Advancement Office
1151 N. State Street
Elgin, IL 60123

Questions about Giving?

Dan Dick
Director of Advancement
(847) 628-2090 or e-mail


Daily Herald: "Illinois students' futures rest in MAP funding appropriation"

Judson University President Dr. Gene C. Crume, Jr. discusses the impact of MAP funding on Illinois students and colleges.

Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World