Higher Ed. Working Group Proposal Becomes Law in State Budget
College students who receive a Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant this fall will have a greater sense of financial security as they hit the books. Moving forward, the state is guaranteeing MAP grants for four years rather than annually. The grants are awarded based on financial need and do not have to be repaid.
The change results from the work done by the Illinois Higher Education Working Group, a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators that includes Senator Paul Schimpf. The program improvements are appropriated in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget which was signed into law on Monday, June 4, by Governor Bruce Rauner and takes effect July 1.
“This is not only a win for these students, but for the state,” said Schimpf. “We need to keep our talented students in Illinois and award them for their academic abilities. The four-year guarantee should make things easier on them while allowing our higher education institutions to compete with out-of-state schools that already offer financial aid packages in this form.”
The grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will annually publish a priority deadline for renewing applicants. Beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year, a MAP grant to a student at a public institution of higher learning shall be prioritized for renewal until the recipient completes a baccalaureate degree or equivalent of 135 credit hours if the recipient meets the published priority deadline and eligibility requirements. A renewing applicant's failure to apply by the priority deadline date shall not disqualify that student from receiving a grant if sufficient funding is available to provide awards after that date.
“These changes help level the playing field with out-of-state schools that are poaching Illinois’ best and brightest. This will also help make college more affordable for the middle class and provide cost certainty to students and their families,” said Schimpf.
About Senate District 58
The 58th Senate District includes all or parts of Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph, Monroe, St. Clair, Washington, and Union Counties and represents more than 220,000 Illinois citizens. Discover more at senatorschimpf.com.