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Illinois MAP grant deadline is now March 25

Students urged to complete FAFSA by deadline to be eligible

March  20, 2011

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission announced late Saturday that it has extended the deadline for applications for need-based Illinois Monetary Program (MAP) grants through Friday, March 25.

The commission had said last Thursday that applications would not be accepted after Sunday, March 20.

To be considered for a MAP grant, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than March 25. This deadline applies to both current and prospective students who are Illinois residents.

"I write to inform you that upon further review of the FAFSA data and other factors, ISAC is extending the time for processing MAP grant awards through the close of business next Friday, March 25th," said Andy Davis, executive director of the commission, in an email to college administrators.

He said that a contributing factor to the deadline extension was the fact that the FAFSA website was offline for maintenance for several hours on Sunday.

To complete a FAFSA, or to check the status of a FAFSA application, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Augustana College urges all Illinois residents who may be eligible for need-based assistance to submit the FAFSA by March 25 in order to be considered for this important $4,720 grant. Augustana will not make up for the loss of the MAP grant for students who do not meet the filing deadline.

Students and their families should complete the 2011-12 FAFSA even if their 2010 tax return is not complete. Use estimated figures if needed to complete the FAFSA.

For more information or assistance, contact the Augustana College Office of Financial Assistance at (309) 794-7207 or toll-free at (800) 798-8100, ext. 7207, during the hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., or by email at financialassistance@augustana.edu.

"Each year we carefully assess and weigh our best sense of the available funds along with the level of demand for the MAP program," Davis said. "The former calculation is complicated by the fact that the state's budget is still months away from completion. The latter factor is made hard to predict due to increasing variability in the MAP claim rates combined with the acceleration of the application process.

"Even with this limited extension, the new suspension date of March 26 is three weeks earlier than last year, when we ran out of funds in mid-April. Looking to the future, we see no relief in this trend underscoring the need to transform MAP to ensure funding stability if not growth."