MAP Grant cutoff raised to earliest date

Luis Martinez, Administration Editor

Those students who needed to file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to receive Monetary Award Program grant funding had less time than ever to get their application in.

The deadline to file for the FAFSA was bumped up to Saturday. Carol Waldmann, the interim director of financial aid, said it had been the earliest deadline it has ever been.

“Last year the deadline was Feb. 27,” Waldmann said. “We never know the deadline until we hear from (the Illinois Student Aid Commission).”

The ISAC is in charge of disbursing the MAP grant funds to students who filed their FAFSA. Some students said they were unaware of the email sent out Friday, as stated in an article in Monday’s issue The Daily Eastern News.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships notified students of the new deadline to file their FAFSAs and still receive MAP grant money a half hour after receiving notification of the change from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Waldmann said.

The office sent an email notification to students at 1:28 p.m. Friday stating the deadline to file was Saturday.

“We received notification of the Feb. 21 deadline from the ISAC about a half hour before (notifying) students of the deadline,” Waldmann said. “ISAC makes their decision regarding the deadline based on number of applications received and Governor Rauner’s budget address.”

Last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner gave a state address highlighting his plans regarding the state’s budget.

Rauner proposed to hold MAP funding steady at $373 million, according to the National Public Radio website.

“His budget address included cuts in higher education,” Waldmann said. “That was likely a big factor in having an earlier MAP grant deadline.”

Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].