ISAC

While a recent package of legislation approved by the Illinois General Assembly does some good things for state universities and colleges, it doesn’t guarantee four years of Monetary Assistance Program grants.

Lynne Baker, Managing Director of Communications for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, said a couple of conditions apply for students who want to renew MAP grants in succeeding years.

“Students still must apply every year,” she said, “and, while we would very much like it, there is no continuing appropriation for MAP.”

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is helping families with college-bound students as part of College Changes Everything Month.

Spokeswoman Lynne Baker said the commission is offering free workshops around the state to help students complete their applications and FAFSA forms. 

FAFSA Filings Down Significantly In Illinois

Jun 27, 2017
Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

The volume of applications in Illinois for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is down about 14 percent from last year, according to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

The decrease in filings follows the Department of Education's recent changes to encourage more people to submit them; the filing window is open earlier, and the application does not require people to update it with 2016 tax information.

Eric Zarnikow is the executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

A survey by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission found Illinois colleges and universities are handling MAP Grant funding in different ways as state funding runs out.  

Colleges and universities are again deciding whether to front grant money to low-income students who are supposed to be receiving state aid as Illinois' budget remains uncertain.

The Southern Illinoisan reports a survey recently released by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission suggests some schools that covered grants in the fall aren't guaranteeing to this spring.

The commission administers the grants through the Monetary Award Program.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission reports a drop in submitted financial aid applications compared to 2015, but also says it may be too soon to tell.

That’s because the FAFSA filing period for next school year opened early on Oct. 1, rather than January.

Those who apply will use their 2015 tax information and will not need to update it with their 2016 taxes.

MAP Grants On Their Way To Illinois Universities

Apr 28, 2016
Jenna Dooley

Illinois' Comptroller says universities will soon receive stopgap MAP grant money.

Leslie Munger says the Illinois Student Assistance Commission sent $164 million dollars in grant vouchers to her office. 

Munger says her office turned around the payments immediately, but she also calls on lawmakers to approve a long-term solution.

“It is critical that they now finish the job and pass a comprehensive balanced budget that allows us to keep our promises not only to students,” Munger said in a news release.

Illinois officials say college students should continue to apply for financial aid, even though the state budget impasse has put grants for needy students on hold.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is encouraging students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The form determines if a student is eligible for most financial aid programs, including the Illinois Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants.

Money Runs Out For MAP Grants

Mar 4, 2013

If students didn't have their financial aid applications in by Friday, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission says it probably won't have enough money to give them a Monetary Award Program, or MAP Grant.