CHICAGO — The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) announced that through May 6, it has received over 16,000 eligible Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant applications since the agency began denying eligible applicants due to exhaustion of funds on Monday, April 19.
Of the 16,381 applicants denied the state's need-based college financial aid program thus far, 64 percent (10,443) selected a community college as their top choice on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), with 18 percent (2,950) selecting a public four-year school and 11 percent (1,801) choosing an in-state private college. At the time of suspension, 60 percent of students denied planned on attending a community college.
“Students should continue to complete the FAFSA because there is still federal aid money out there,” said ISAC Executive Director Andrew Davis. “We will continue to advocate for Illinois students and are monitoring the budget process closely in the hopes legislators will approve the approximately $425 million appropriation for student aid proposed in budget bills in the General Assembly.”
If approved, budget bills that have been introduced in both chambers would authorize ISAC to invest about $425 million from the General Revenue Fund over the coming fiscal year in student financial assistance. It is expected that with a $425 million agency appropriation, approximately $400 million would be directed to the need-based MAP, representing a slight increase over the current fiscal year’s funding for the program. However, due to rising tuition and increased demand, the program is expected to serve even less eligible students in fiscal year 2011 than it does this year.
The agency projects the total number of MAP-eligible students will be 409,000 for the 2010-11 academic year and estimates eligible applications received after the April 19th suspense date will total 220,000, barring an influx of additional funds to the program. Of these, over 140,000 are estimated to be community college students.
The Commission provides further background information regarding the problem, research and resources, and weekly updates to MAP grant suspension activity at the following Web site, www.collegezone.com/mapcap.
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides students of all ages and backgrounds with the resources and support to obtain financial aid for higher education. A state agency, ISAC has paved the path to post-secondary education with innovative programs for over 50 years. The commission continued its mission to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students by administering over 183,000 grants and scholarships totaling over $430 million in FY2009 alone.
The Commission provides educational funding with student loans and via numerous programs such as the Monetary Award Program (MAP), the Illinois Veteran Grant and College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Program. Students and families have free access to a wealth of financial aid and college planning information at ISAC’s family of Web sites available at www.KnowHow2GOIllinois.org.