By Rob Smolik
During the 2014-2015 school year, Eastern Illinois University students received a total of $115.5 million in financial aid.
For every dollar the state gave in financial aid, the federal government gave six. The federal award made up about 59% of the total aid received, while the state total made up about 11%. The remaining total of aid was received from Eastern itself or from other outside sources.
Joshua Bost, a Resident Assistant at Eastern, wasn’t too surprised by the disparity of aid given between the federal government and the state. “Illinois doesn’t have a budget, so there’s nothing being allocated towards higher education in the state.”
However, Bost also believes that despite the state having a poor budget, the state still should have given more than they did, saying “The state is the primary provider of aid. The federal government shouldn’t be giving more aid to students than the state itself.”
Given Eastern’s financial troubles over the last couple of years, and the declining enrollment numbers, some may believe that the lack of aid or funding given may reflect poorly on Eastern rather than on the state of Illinois, but Bost disagrees saying that “the state representatives aren’t fulfilling their responsibilities. The university doesn’t really have anything to do with it.”