FOR OVER 50 YEARS, THE MONETARY AWARD PROGRAM (MAP) HAS HELPED MAKE COLLEGE POSSIBLE FOR MILLIONS OF ILLINOISANS ACROSS THE STATE
Indeed, MAP recipients come from every legislative district in the state. MAP matters because it provides need-based aid that a student doesn’t have to repay, defraying tuition and fee costs and limiting excessive student loan debt for those who don’t have the resources to pay for college.
Strong support for MAP increases from Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly brought Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 MAP funding to a historic high of approximately $451 million. In FY 21, that level of funding served almost 140,000 students. Even with the continued strains on the budget as a result of the pandemic, Governor Pritzker recommended and the General Assembly approved a $28 million dollar increase in MAP funding for FY 22, bringing the total MAP appropriation to another historic high of almost $480 million. This funding allowed ISAC to offer awards to more students and to increase the size of grants to further address the declining purchasing power of MAP. The positive increase in funding, combined with the unfortunate reality that fewer students are applying to college, meant that for the first time in more than two decades, ISAC was able to offer an award to all eligible applicants in academic year 2021-22.
In FY 23, Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly again demonstrated their commitment to improving access and affordability by approving a $122 million increase for MAP, bringing MAP funding to yet another historic high of $601 million. Not only does ISAC anticipate this level of funding will allow it to offer an award to all eligible applicants, but this funding also moved Illinois even closer to meeting the goal in the State’s strategic plan for higher education of having MAP cover 50 percent of tuition and mandatory fees at public colleges and universities. In FY 23, ISAC has been able to increase the average MAP grant award size by about 30 percent, and it is estimated that MAP will cover 55 percent of average tuition and fees for community college and approximately 44 percent for public universities.
The Governor’s proposed increase of $100 million for MAP in FY 24 would go even further in improving the purchasing power of MAP. This level of funding would likely allow ISAC to continue offering grants to every eligible applicant -- with an estimated 16 percent increase in the average grant size, and an increase in the maximum grant of about 18 percent, further improving the purchasing power of MAP and increasing the likelihood that a student will enroll, persist, and graduate with less debt. With $701 million in funding, the State would meet the tuition and fee coverage goal in its strategic plan: It is estimated that the maximum MAP grant would cover about 60 percent of average tuition and mandatory fees at a community college and about 51 percent of average tuition and fees at a public university.