Governor Quinn today has proclaimed February as students Financial Aid Awareness month in Illinois. The month of February will be the launching pad to encourages students and families to take full advantage of the college preparation and planning resources available in their communities.
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is hosting nearly 200 events across the state to help students and families increase their financial aid literacy and draw awareness to the non-loan grant aid, assistance that does not need to be repaid. The events will help parents and students complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and enlighten they about the wide range of college financial aid opportunities and the college selection and admission process.
The Monetary Award Program (MAP) is Illinois’ large-scale grant program, which, for over 50 years, has helped Illinoisans pay for tuition and fees at Illinois colleges and universities. MAP grants are awarded based on financial need using information collected on the FAFSA.
ISAC notes completing a FAFSA is the first step to take advantage of opportunities for non-institutional financial assistance. But because more Illinois students filed the FAFSA early it could deplete the projected MAP grant funds earlier than ever before. ISAC encourage undergraduate students to look into the federal Pell Grant which can provide up to $5,645 for students attending a Pell-eligible institution full time. Last year, Illinois students received nearly $1.3 billion in Pell grants, an amount nearly four times as great as MAP.