Illinois has once again run out of money to help needy students go to college. The cutoff to be considered for a MAP grant expired over the weekend. IPR’s Brian Mackey has more.
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. Commission spokesman John Samuels says March 1st is the earliest the state has run out of money for the program. "It used to be 10 years ago that MAP was available year-round. But the demand has increased so dramatically, and tuition costs have gone up so high, that we're now able to provide grants for fewer than half of the students who apply." Samuels says students qualify for MAP grants if their families have income of less than $36,000 a year. The MAP grants in question will be awarded to students on a first-come, first-serve basis, and are for the school year that begins this fall. Samuels says students who missed the deadline should still fill out financial aid forms. There are other kinds of assistance available, and he says after a similar cut-off in mid-March last year, ultimately they were able to squeeze a few more students into the program.