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MAP Matters to Illinois Students!

For over 50 years, the Monetary Award Program (MAP) has helped make college possible for millions of Illinoisans across 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 loan debt for students without the resources to pay for college.

There continues to be more demand for MAP than available funding. For example, in fiscal year (FY) 2015, the last year with a complete budget before a two-year state budget delay, a mid-year across the board budget cut reduced the original $372 million appropriation by 2.25%. The remaining funds served approximately 128,000 but 160,000 eligible applicants were not offered MAP due to insufficient funding.

Budget Delay: Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017:

The state did not pass a full budget in FY 2016, leaving colleges and gift assistance programs, like MAP, unfunded for almost the entire 2015-16 school year. Most colleges and universities were able to credit student accounts for their MAP awards as the schools awaited for payment from the state, although some were not able to do so. Students whose schools were not able to cover MAP had to find additional funds elsewhere, take fewer credits, or in some cases simply had to drop out. Two “stopgap” funding measures at the end of the school year provided a total of $320 million for MAP, providing reimbursement to schools and students that had covered MAP for the school year. Because the funding came so late in the year, MAP served only 107,000 students in FY 2016.  More than 161,000 eligible applicants were not offered MAP due to insufficient funding. 

FY 2017 came and went without a budget or even stopgap funding to cover MAP and other scholarship and grant programs. As the year progressed without a guarantee that the program would eventually be funded, fewer schools were able to cover MAP for students, leaving students looking for additional funding to cover tuition costs, taking on additional jobs, or simply dropping out.

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Also Funded FY 2017:

On July 6, 2017, the state passed a final budget that funded colleges, MAP and other ISAC grant and scholarship programs for both FY 2017 (2016-17 school year)  and FY 2018 (2017-18 school year). The budget provided approximately $365 million for MAP for FY 2017, about the same amount as the final appropriation for FY 2015. FY 2017 funding served almost 122,000 students; 105,000 eligible applicants were not offered MAP.

For FY 2018, MAP funding is increased to approximately $401 million. After two consecutive years of uncertainty and delayed funding, which caused increasing challenges for students and schools, MAP is back to a normal schedule. Funding for the 2017-18 school year has been approved, and grants will be paid each term.

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