MAP grant deadline passes

Abbey Whittington, Entertainment Editor

With a deadline of two and a half weeks later than it was in 2015, the opportunity to apply for Monetary Award Program grants came to an end on Wednesday.

The previous year’s deadline was Feb. 22nd.

Illinois residents who filled out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid before the deadline and meet certain income requirements are eligible for the MAP grant.

Anyone who is applying for the FAFSA on or after Thursday will not be eligible for this grant.

Every year, students can apply for MAP grants. This year’s maximum award given was $4,720.

During the fiscal year 2015, 2,451 awards were given to Eastern students.

The amount of money distributed to the students through the grant is decided by the Illinois Student Assistant Commission and is based on a student’s FAFSA information.

After the ISAC decides who is eligible for the MAP grant, a file of the students who will receive the award is sent to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Mandi Starwalt, interim senior associate director for the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, said loans do not have deadlines like other awards do.

Starwalt said for the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student loans and private loans, students should consider beginning to apply after June 1 for the 2016 fall semester.

These loans have a separate application from the Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans, which are also based on FAFSA applications.

In addition to the MAP grant deadlines, the last day for the FAFSA to be filed for the 2015-2016 school year will be on June 30, 2016.

The deadline for filing FAFSA for the 2016-2017 school year will be on June 30, 2017.

For the 2017 to 2018 school year, the filing date for the FAFSA will change to Oct. 1, 2016 instead of Nov. 1, 2016.

Students will use the tax information from 2015.

Using the tax information from 2015 will allow more filers to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to easily import verified IRS tax returns.

It also reduces the need to later amend the forms, sync the college application and financial aid application calendars and remove barriers created by priority filing deadlines, which ensures that students will have the opportunity to be considered for all available funds.

“This will likely mean earlier deadlines all around, which could include the state MAP grant as well,” Starwalt said.

 

Abbey Whittington can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]