JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC in the News

Dec 28, 2015 - Illinois Group Plans Student Rally For Budget Agreement - The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus plans to organize students to demonstrate over the holiday break if an agreement to end the budget impasse is not reached.

Dec 27, 2015 - State without a budget: Slow-motion mess in Illinois(A subscription is required to view this article.) - As Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly head into 2016 without a state budget, the vast majority of taxpayer-funded services are chugging along as normal thanks to legal maneuvers that have kept the money spigot on during the six-month impasse.

Dec 23, 2015 - College students feel pinch of budget battle with MAP grants held up - Jacqueline Suriano has resorted to crowdfunding her college education thanks to the prolonged budget stalemate in the Illinois capital. 

Dec 23, 2015 - State Treasurer Mike Frerichs: Pass a budget - Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs on Wednesday said “politics” has kept the state from passing a budget even though the fiscal year is halfway done. 

Dec 23, 2015 - Illinois Schools Struggle To Fund MAP Grants - Many Illinois colleges and universities fronted the money for income-based Monetary Award Program grants to students in the fall semester. That's despite the lack of a state budget and no assurance that they'd be reimbursed. 

Dec 22, 2015 - And You Thought You Had IT Problems - "We have tremendous IT talent in-house," he says of the state's 1,700 IT employees. "The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has a great team of mobile developers." He has them working on projects for agencies that otherwise would have been contracting out for the work or hiring new staff. 

Dec 20, 2015 - MAP grant funding concerns growing - Illinois’ nine public universities and their 12 campuses will be crediting student accounts for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for the spring semester, just as they did for students who qualified for those grants in the fall.

Dec 20, 2015 - SIUE students to receive MAP grants, despite state budget stalemate - SIUE students leaving campus this week can enjoy the holidays without worrying about their MAP grants — or whether their campus will close next year.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville officials confirmed that students who expected to receive the state’s Monetary Assistance Grants to help pay for spring tuition will be extended credit for them.

Dec 18, 2015 - Lawmakers: Illinois Budget Battle Taking a Toll on Black Community - The budget crisis is disproportionately hurting black communities say a group of lawmakers. Leaders in the legislative black caucus released a report this week showing how the lack of a state budget is affecting the black community in Illinois.

Dec 17, 2015 - American Legion post looks to help vets hurt by state budget stalemate (A subscription is required to view this article.) - An American Legion post in Aurora has come up with a way to help veterans being hurt by the state's budget stalemate. The current budget impasse in the state is restricting the flow of money to thousands of recipients who rely on Monetary Award Program grants to pay for their education.

Dec 17, 2015 - MAP grant funding for spring semester still in limbo - College students in Illinois who rely on MAP grants could run into some trouble paying for school next semester.

Treasurer Michael Frerichs told WJBC’s Terry James that he has been lobbying the legislature on behalf of college students for MAP grant funding that’s being held up by the state budget impasse. He’s also been touring colleges and universities across the state.

Dec 17, 2015 - Budget Impasse Could Keep Some College Grads From Getting Diplomas - Thousands of families have been left wondering if the state will live up to its promise to pay its share of scholarship grants, while the future has been put on hold for some graduates.

This weekend, a 24-year-old woman from McHenry County will be among the graduates at Lewis University, but she won’t be getting a diploma, which she needs to enroll in air traffic controller training in March, according to her father.

Dec 14, 2015 - Senators, Student Remind Us about MAP Grants - For Trisha Rodriquez of Belvidere, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is her “dream school.”

“It’s such a huge school, and there are so many opportunities that I don’t really get where I’m from,” said the first-generation college student, a sophomore majoring in economics and political science, “to work for all these awesome organizations and be part of student government is what the appeal was for me.”

Dec 14, 2015 - No money, mo' problems - Aaron House found out on his birthday that a chunk of the money he was using to pay for his college education wasn’t going to come through.

Aaron, a sophomore at Lincoln Land Community College, received a mass email on Sept. 24 from the financial aid office saying the money from the Monetary Award Program grant that was supposed to cover more than half of his tuition would not be applied to his account until the state passed a budget.

Dec 9, 2015 -  MAP Grants Pitched As Pro-Business As college students wrap up the fall semester, there is still a lot of uncertainty for the coming months. Low-income student who rely on the Monetary Award Program to pay for tuition have no guarantee the money will arrive.

Dec 9, 2015 -  Rally Supports MAP Grant Funnding State senators who brought Rodriquez to a news conference at the Capitol say students like Rodriquez could be in for a rude awakening, unless the legislature renews the money for Monetary Award Program, which helps lower-income college students attend school.

ISAC’s 2016-17 State Scholar announcement has appeared in over 40 media outlets to date

December 9, 2015 - From the community: Eighty-six Joliet Township High Joliet Township High School is pleased to announce that 86 students from the graduating class of 2016 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.

December 8, 2015 - Woodland High School Illinois State Scholar winners Four Woodland High School seniors are 2016 Illinois Student Assistant Commission Illinois State Scholars...

December 7, 2015 - Area Illinois State Scholars announced The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has announced the names of the 2016-17 Illinois State Scholars.

December 7, 2015 - GCMS High School announces Illinois State Scholars Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School Principal Chris Garard recently announced 10 GCMS High School students from the graduating class of 2016 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.

December 4, 2015 - Forty-Four Collinsville High School Seniors Named Illinois State Scholars Forty-four members of the senior class at Collinsville High School have been named 2016-2017 State Scholar Finalists by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Dec 8, 2015 -  Richland, Millikin hope legislature will turn attention to MAP grants With compromise starting to be seen in Springfield, local colleges are hoping the Illinois legislature will reinstate MAP grant funding so their students can take classes in the spring.

Dec 8, 2015 -  Springfield still has no money for higher ed There's a lot of talking in Springfield about higher education funding, but not much doing.

Dec 8, 2015 -  Educación superior en crisis a falta de un presupuesto estatal The impact of the budget delay on MAP grants, and the importance of MAP in making college possible for students—Video, En Español

Dec 8, 2015 - Illinois senators push for MAP grant fundingFor Trisha Rodriquez of Belvidere, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is her “dream school.”

“It’s such a huge school, and there are so many opportunities that I don’t really get where I’m from,” said the first-generation college student, a sophomore majoring in economics and political science, “to work for all these awesome organizations and be part of student government is what the appeal was for me.”

Dec 4, 2015 - State drops the ball; IVCC picks it up - With Springfield politicians unable to pass a state budget, funding for many programs throughout the state has yet to be received. IVCC students relying on grants through the Monetary Award Program (MAP) in order to further their education have been among the many residents affected by the ongoing impasse. IVCC has stepped up where the state has failed, though, and has been ensuring its students can continue their work toward the future.

Nov 30, 2015 - Legislators, Rauner must compromise - The most important word that should be on the minds of legislators and Gov. Bruce Rauner when they meet Tuesday is compromise. Their passive-aggressive, five-month silence over a workable state budget has cost NIU nearly $10 million, a bill the university expects the state to pay in full.

Nov 28, 2015 - Illinois Student Assistance Commission wins information technology award - The CIO’s Most Effective Information Technology (IT) Team Award was presented Nov. 19 to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). The award, which is given each year to three Chicago area organizations, is awarded by the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) and the Society for Information Management (SIM).

Nov 27, 2015 - Illinois Q-C colleges compensating for missing MAP grants - Students who attend Illinois Quad-Cities colleges and universities may not receive MAP grants for the spring semester because of ongoing state budget problems.

Nov 20, 2015 - With state budget stalled, CLC to fund more costs - To keep construction of a new science building underway on the Grayslake Campus, the CLC Board of Trustees voted Nov. 17 to authorize spending an additional $2.2 million on the project.

Nov 20, 2015 - Letter: Budget necessary to preserve state's universities - Members of the Operating Staff Council at Northern Illinois University, representing 1,521 civil service employees, recently wrote to Gov. Bruce Rauner to express our concerns about the state budget impasse, proposed cuts to higher education budgets, and the current lack of funding for Monetary Assistance Program grants.

Nov 20, 2015 - Without MAP grant funding, some local college students out next semester - Illinois isn't paying out for MAP grants and now many students are facing tough decisions as John Wood Community College isn't covering the cost for the upcoming spring semester.

School officials say they hope the cuts, which also include furloughs and suspending adult basic education classes could save the school $1.4 million.

Nov 18, 2015 - Cuts, tuition increasing as Richland deal with budget concerns - Richland Community College is projecting being out of working cash by June if the state budget impasse continues that long.

Nov 18, 2015 - SWIC approves belt-tightening measures in wake of state budget standoff
- The Southwestern Illinois College Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved belt-tightening measures to help the school weather the state’s budget crisis.

Nov 17, 2015 - WIU students take a stand against state budget crisis - Western Illinois University students are taking a stand against the unbalanced budget in Illinois by sending emails to local legislators.

Organizer and student Kelly Rodgers says she's worried about the future of the MAP grant, which she benefits from. She says the university is going to front the MAP grant for the spring semester, but she's worried that won't last very long.

Nov 16, 2015 - Illinois college students remain budget hostages - Tens of thousands of college students across Illinois are still awaiting definitive word on whether their individual schools will cover second semester financial aid payments bollixed up in the state budget fiasco.

Nov 16, 2015 - MAP grants provide necessary route to college for students in need - It’s hard to describe how important the Monetary Award Program grants are to Illinois students in need.

Nov 15, 2015 - MAP matters: Why we need state funding for need-based financial aid - As a first-generation college student, I’ve always dreamed of attending university. Without MAP grants, this dream would never have become a reality.

Nov 15, 2015 - DePaul MAP recipients face uncertain future - The reminder is on every computer monitor on both campuses. Blue and white posters with the #MAPMatters logo demanding the attention of the 23,799 students at DePaul.

Nov 11, 2015 - UI warns students they might be on the hook for MAP grants - University of Illinois students who receive need-based financial aid from the state could wind up being billed for part of their grants next semester if lawmakers fail to fund the program.

Nov 11, 2015 - Bill calls for 6.5 percent cut for ISU - Illinois State University may see a 6.5 percent reduction in state funding if pending legislation moves forward, members of ISU's board of trustees heard Tuesday.

Nov 11, 2015 - Illinois Advocates Launch Campaign For State Legislation To Help Undocumented Students - Student and immigrant advocates are stepping up efforts to pass state legislation aimed at improving college access and affordability for undocumented Illinoisans.

Nov 11, 2015 - Area students rally for MAP funding - Metro East students and students from across Illinois rallied at the Capitol to call for state financial aid and university funding Tuesday.

Nov 10, 2015 - Local college students urge lawmakers to release MAP funding - Quincy University students were in Springfield Tuesday urging lawmakers to release MAP grant money.

They listened to speeches from lawmakers who support the MAP grant, and each student attempted to visit their personal representatives to discuss the importance of the funding.

Nov 10, 2015 - Oakton, Foundation to Continue MAP Promise for Students - Oakton Community College President Joianne L. Smith, Ph.D., updated employees on the impact of the state budget impasse on the school’s operations, noting a $6.1 million cost to the college and a plan to continue to reallocate financial resources to minimize impact to students.

Nov 10, 2015 - College Illinois Enrollment Opens - Enrollment is now open for the state's prepaid tuition program, College Illinois. It's never too early to start saving for college, and College Illinois lets you pay your child's future tuition expenses at current prices.

The program is pretty flexible, according to State Student Assistance Commission Executive Director Eric Zarnikow.

Nov 9, 2015 - Carl Sandburg president to testify on college funding at capitol - Dr. Lori Sundberg, president of Carl Sandburg College, will be joining other college representatives and students tomorrow at the Illinois State Capitol as they testify on the need for higher education appropriations.

Nov 8, 2015 - Q&A: Dietz on the budget impasse - If massive budget cuts occur, what will that say about the importance of higher education in Illinois?

The budget impasse is already sending a troubling message to students and families who are currently making decisions on where to attend college. Illinois is the second largest exporter of students to other states for college, and the current budget circumstances don’t give students and families confidence when considering Illinois colleges and universities.

Nov 8, 2015 - Loss of MAP grants threatens the DePaul experience - The Illinois State House of Representatives will vote on a budget bill this Tuesday that contains funding for the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP), a financial aid system that provides more than $370 million in grants to low- and middle-income students across the state.

Nov 6, 2015 - Northern Illinois President Doug Baker: University will stay open, budget or no - Northern Illinois University will remain open through the end of the school year and will continue to credit students who normally would receive state tuition assistance, university President Doug Baker said.

Nov 6, 2015 - Parkland plans for 50 percent less state funds, institutes up to $2 million in cuts - Parkland College President Tom Ramage said Thursday he is anticipating a 50 percent cut in state funding to the community college and has instituted $1.5 million to $2 million in budget cuts as a result.

Nov 6, 2015 - Killeen, others to testify about impact of budget impasse - This year's state appropriation to public higher education — which for now stands at zero dollars — will be the sole topic of discussion at an Illinois House committee of the whole session next week.

Nov 5, 2015 - Lake Land College to Suspend MAP Grants for Spring Semester - Many students choose community colleges for the affordable price of education.

Nov 3, 2015 - ISAC: MAP grants not only funds being held during impasse; and more from INN Radio - It’s not just the Monetary Award Program being held up during the budget impasse, other funds for a variety of college assistance programs are on hold pending a state budget that’s now into the fifth month with no appropriation authority. See the three ISAC-related stories

Nov 2, 2015 - Eric Zarnikow discusses the College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan, opened for enrollment on November 2nd - Bishop talks with Eric Zarnikow, Executive Director of the Illinois Student Assistance Program about open enrollment for the College Illinois! savings plan, and how the state budget impasse is impacting ISAC

Nov 2, 2015 - University funding looms as pressure point in Illinois budget standoff - For Illinois' universities nearing the end of the fall semester without money from the state, it's a tale of the haves and have-nots.

Oct 30, 2015 - NIU rally ahead of Gov. Bruce Rauner's visit calls for restored funding - The state needs to get its fiscal act together because college students, domestic violence victims and low-income working families are among those hurt by the state not having a budget, participants at a rally held at Northern Illinois University said Thursday.

Oct 29, 2015 - Northern Illinois College Students Rally For End To Budget Gridlock - Hundreds of students representing Northern Illinois University and several other Chicago-area schools gathered Thursday night to call for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and lawmakers to agree on a budget.

Oct 29, 2015 - Faculty Senate demands end to state budget impasse - Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to end the budget impasse.

The resolution is similar to those passed by the University Council and the Student Association, which also call for an end to the impasse and funding for the Monetary Assistance Program grants. Students attending Illinois universities have not received MAP grant funding from the state for the 2015-2016 school year.

Oct 27, 2015 - Suburban College Students Join Sente in Push to Protect Access to Higher Education - College students from suburban communities joined state Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, in Springfield last week to stand with her in supporting funding for higher education.

Oct 27, 2015 - Geneva Library Presents How to Find College Financial Aid - Going to college next fall? Get a head start with this introduction to financial aid from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18 at Geneva Public Library, 127 James St.

Oct 27, 2015 - Demonstration planned when Gov. Bruce Rauner visits NIU - Gov. Bruce Rauner will be met by what could be hundreds of demonstrators seeking an end to the state budget stalemate when he comes to speak Thursday at the Northern Illinois University campus.

Oct 26, 2015 - Plainfield Township plans College and Financial Aid Expo - Over 20 Illinois colleges and universities, as well as numerous financial organizations will be on hand at the Plainfield Township Youth Committee's seventh annual College and Financial Aid Expo.

Oct 23, 2015 - Budget impasse leaves state grants for college students in limbo - After visiting with Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday, Carl Sandburg College President Lori Sundberg said it appears state aid for low-income college students could be hung up for some time as the state still does not have a budget.

Oct 23, 2015 - RVC prepares for what to do as state budget standoff continues - Hundreds of students across the state gathered in Springfield this week telling lawmakers they want their funding restored.

Oct 22, 2015 - MAP funding may be on the chopping block - Caught in the middle of Illinois' contentious state politics are college students who depend on state aid grants to fund their educations.

Oct 22, 2015 - Heartland looks at 'rainy day fund' amid budget storm - Fallout from the state's budget impasse has Heartland Community College looking at its “rainy day fund,” but board members aren't ready to dip into it just yet.

Oct 20, 2015 - Mussman Connects Local Families With College Affordability Resources - In an effort to make higher education more accessible for local students, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, held a free college affordability workshop at the Marletta Darnall Schaumburg Child and Family Center in Schaumburg on Monday.

Oct 20, 2015 - University Students Rally At The Capitol - For the first time in weeks lawmakers return to the state capital.

Tuesday is day 112 of the budget battle, and while members of the House and Senate spent the day debating on the floors of their respective chambers, they didn't discuss the budget.

Oct 20, 2015 - UIUC students take over Illinois Statehouse - College students across Illinois proved they’re anything but politically apathetic.

On Tuesday, some 300 students, part of a #cutsmeansus campaign started last year by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign student government, went to the capitol of Springfield to meet with lawmakers. Their objective: To demand that an overdue state budget that directly affects public school tuition assistance be passed.

Oct 20, 2015 - Op-ed: Financial aid crisis hits low-income students - One hundred thirty thousand college students in Illinois are on the brink of a crisis that no one is talking about.

Oct 20, 2015 - Student Lobby Day - Students from U of I are expected to head to Springfield today along with the university presidents for what they're calling a "Crisis Advocacy Day."

Oct 19, 2015 - 250 College Students heading to Springfield over Budget Crisis - The Illinois Student Senate announces student leaders have mobilized over 250 college students to travel to Springfield to advocate for legislators to pass a budget.

Oct 16, 2015 - Elmhurst College, state treasurer urge lawmakers to release funding - Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin stopped by Elmhurst College on Oct. 13 to listen to students affected by the current freeze in state student tuition funding.

Oct 16, 2015 - Educators recognize October as Illinois College Application Month - The prospect of a competitive future in the workplace is bringing together hundreds of local students and academic counselors from Freeport High School and Highland Community College.

Oct 13, 2015 - Budget impasse hits students awaiting grants - Heartland Community College students who are waiting for Monetary Award Program grants held up by the state budget impasse will not get a credit on their account for spring semester, a college official said Monday.

Oct 13, 2015 - ¿Cómo conseguir una beca para la Universidad? - How to get grants and scholarships for college - Video, En Español

Oct 12, 2015 - Student Association to rally during Rauner visit - With the state budget still at an impasse, Dillon Domke, Student Association Senate speaker, called for students to attend a rally for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s arrival in DeKalb during a University Council meeting Wednesday.

Oct 8, 2015 - Dietz: ISU 'strong and stable' - Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said the school remains “strong and stable” at the same time it is dealing with uncertain state funding.

Oct 7, 2015 - Workshop Oct. 19 in Schaumburg offers help to afford college - State Rep. Michelle Mussman, the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will host a College Affordability Workshop from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at the Marletta Darnall Schaumburg Child and Family Center, 725 E. Schaumburg Road.

Oct 7, 2015 - Pending a resolution, MAP grants remain at risk - The state government of Illinois does not have a budget. Months past the point at which the General Assembly and Governor Bruce Rauner were to have enacted a budget, they have failed to do so; now, across the state, government buildings may go dark because they can’t pay the electricity bill, the training of new police officers has been halted, and on college campuses across the state, some financial aid programs are not being supplied with funds.

Oct 6, 2015 - Redbird Caucus pitched to address budget impasse - A “lobby day” in Springfield, a higher education advocacy campaign and a Redbird Caucus are among strategies in the works at Illinois State University to address inaction on the state budget and to push for a resolution.

Oct 6, 2015 - Higher Education Officials: Lack Of State Budget Is Crippling Operations - Leaders of several state universities and community colleges are sounding the alarm as they begin month three of receiving no money from Illinois.

Oct 5, 2015 - More than 1,000 students waiting for MAP grant funding - The state of Illinois has been operating without a budget since July 1, causing uncertainty as to how the state-funded Monetary Award Program grants will be funded for students in colleges across the state, including Columbia.

Oct 5, 2015 - Chancellor Koch: Budget pressures growing for UIS, other schools - Some vacant positions at the University of Illinois Springfield aren’t being filled, and officials are taking a hard look at any and every expenditure as the state budget impasse enters its fourth month.

Oct 5, 2015 - Universities: Struggle will continue without budget - State Senate Higher Education Committee members heard Monday from more than a few college and university representatives about financial issues facing higher education without an Illinois budget.

Oct 2 2015 - Committee to talk on budget impasse effect to higher education - State Senate Higher Education Committee members will talk about the impact the budget impasse has had on higher education across the state at Eastern Illinois University.

Oct 1, 2015 - State budget stalemate could leave students without MAP grants - While students could be forced to learn a costly lesson in political gridlock, Sauk Valley Community College is teaching them one in problem-solving.

State leaders still haven’t found a way to reach a deal on the state budget, and that’s left the future of some college grants up in the air.But in the meantime, Sauk officials have found a solution – but it’s one that could knock a nearly $705,000 hole in the college’s budget. And what’s more, the showdown in Springfield could make it harder for students to pay for college come spring.

Oct 1, 2015 - In budget standoff, crossroads near for region's colleges - If the state's budget impasse extends into 2016, Southern Illinois’s higher education institutions will see a severe impact on programs, services and needy students’ ability to continue their education, college and university leaders said Thursday.

Sept 30, 2015 - State budget standoff impacting grant money for college students - Every year thousands of area college students go through the same process. They fill out a FAFSA form and wait to hear back if the state is going to grant them assistance. This year, students are still waiting for that money.

Sept 30, 2015 - Senate Democrats urge investments in middle-class families - As Illinois students begin preparing for mid-terms, Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) assembled the Senate’s Higher Education Committee at Joliet Junior College to hear from students, parents and state community colleges and universities on the impact the current budget impasse is having on higher education in Illinois.

Sept 28, 2015 - Northwestern College hosts 2 workshop trainings for ISAC at its Bridgeview Campus - Northwestern College's Bridgeview Campus (7725 S. Harlem Avenue) recently served as the host location for two of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission's (ISAC) free, one-day workshops: Financial Aid 101 (for new financial aid professionals) and Financial Aid 201 (for more experienced financial aid professionals). Approximately 20 people attended each of the two workshops in Bridgeview, which ISAC holds quarterly throughout the state, and which are frequented by financial aid professionals from all over Illinois. Last week's workshops were attended by representatives of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights; Chicago Public Schools; Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Training; Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills; Roosevelt University; DePaul University and Sauk Valley Community College of Dixon, Illinois. Northwestern College has consistently opened up its institution at no cost to ISAC for these and other similar workshops.

Sept 28, 2015 - State Budget Impasse Impacting College Students - Northern Illinois University students make their way to classes on a Thursday afternoon -- but the state budget crisis gives them one more thing to worry about at the start of the school year.

Sept 24, 2015 - Joliet area college students make case for MAP funding, urge state budget - Nicole Berard told a committee of Illinois lawmakers Thursday her enrollment at University of St. Francis this spring will be in jeopardy if they don't approve a state budget that funds tuition assistance for low-income college students.

Sept 24, 2015 - Frerichs, College Students Ask Rauner To Restore College Aid - Democratic Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs and others have urged Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to restore state scholarship money for needy college students.

Sept 23, 2015 - State panel to meet in Joliet on budget impasse's college impact - The Senate Higher Education Committee, chaired by state Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill), will convene a hearing at Joliet Junior College Thursday to discuss the impact the current budget impasse is having on higher education in Illinois.

Sept 23, 2015 - Students, state treasurer, colleges urge Rauner to sign student aid bill - Sean Anderson is among the 130,000 Illinois students whose financial aid from the state has been held hostage by the budget impasse.

Sept 23, 2015 - Treasurer stumps for college grant program; But bill may be a hard sell in season of standoff - State Treasurer Mike Frerichs is on the road in a push to get the General Assembly and the governor to restore funding for a need-based program to help Illinoisans attend college.

Sept 23, 2015 - Education Desk: Treasurer Pleads Case For MAP Grants - Jamie Anderson grew up in the foster care system. She relies on her 4-thousand-dollar MAP grant to pay tuition at the University of Illinois Springfield. She says she works two jobs totaling 50 hours a week to cover living expenses.

Sept 23, 2015 - Colleges Spotting MAP Grants ‘Cannot Do This In Second Semester’ - More than 130,000 college students in Illinois rely on the Monetary Award Program -- or MAP grants — to help pay for tuition.  That’s one of the many programs that was left unfunded when state lawmakers and the governor failed to agree on a state budget.

Sept 23, 2015 - Treasurer wants MAP grant funds saved - Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs visited Eastern Illinois University to urge the approval of a measure that would approve funds for tuition assistance.

Sept 22, 2015 - JALC will pay out $250K in MAP grants - Reversing an earlier decision, administrators at John A. Logan College announced they will pay out $250,000 in state MAP grants to more than 400 students, despite budget gridlock in Springfield.

Sept 22, 2015 - Budget Impasse Hurting College Students - It's day 84 without a budget and one of the state's constitutional officers says the suffering has gone on long enough. Treasurer Mike Frerichs took that message to the University of Illinois Springfield Tuesday.

Sept 22, 2015 - Oct. 22: CLC hosts Illinois Regional College Fair - How can high school students and their parents learn about nearly 150 colleges and universities in just one location? The Illinois Regional College Fair, hosted by the College of Lake County from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22, is a great place for families to begin or continue the college search process.

Sept 21, 2015 - Frerichs, College Presidents Call for Higher Ed Assistance - Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs met with Carl Sandburg College President Lori Sundburg and Knox College President Teresa Amott this morning at Knox to advocate for state grant assistance. Monetary Award Program or MAP grants were specifically the topic of discussion.

Sept 21, 2015 - Local education leaders band together to ask Rauner to release MAP money - Local education leaders on Monday added their voices to a chorus of supporters urging the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner to release millions of dollars promised to college students through the state’s Monetary Award Program.

Sept 21, 2015 - QU officials concerned about MAP Grant funding - Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs continued his tours of colleges around the state Monday at Quincy University. He's urging Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois legislature to approve the MAP grant for college students.

Sept 19, 2015 - MAP funding in jeopardy; Sen. McGuire to hold hearing at Joliet Junior College - Nearly 90 percent of the state budget is being spent because of court orders and other actions from the Rauner administration – even without a budget in place.

Sept 18, 2015 - Sound Off: Students stress importance of MAP grant funding - College students say Illinois' governor and legislators need to get together and approve funding for MAP grants. Illinois Public Radio's Rich Egger reports.

Sept 16, 2015 - IL Treasurer talks MAP grants - Michael Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer, held a round table discussion at Western Illinois University about the current status on Monetary Award Program (MAP grant) funding.

Sept 16, 2015 - Heartland approves budget, worries about state funding - The Heartland Community College board approved a balanced budget Tuesday night, but the contingency funds included in that budget could be wiped out if the eventual state budget includes significant decreases in funding for community colleges.

Sept 15, 2015 - Treasurer, SRC president, students urge MAP approval - The state budget impasse drags on with no end in sight, but Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs and representatives from higher eduction gathered Monday at Western Illinois University to urge approval of Monetary Award Program funding.

Sept 15, 2015 - Our View: Time for urgency on state budget - If Illinois’ state government were a house, things would be just fine in the living room, but there’s a fire smoldering in the attic.

Sept 15, 2015 - Federal financial aid form to be available sooner - Kishwaukee College and Northern Illinois University officials are praising the federal government’s move to make Free Application for Federal Student Aid application available to families sooner.

Starting next year, families will be able to complete the FAFSA in October for the next school year. Being able to access the form Oct. 1 of an academic year, instead of in January, could help students determine earlier how much in federal aid they could receive.

Sept 14, 2015 - Illinois treasurer visits Western Illinois University - The Illinois treasurer was scheduled to visit Western Illinois University Monday in a push for college financial aid approval.

Treasurer Michael Frerichs said he would meet with students and university officials to discuss the future of the MAP grant in Illinois.

Sept 9, 2015 - Tom Kacich: That empty feeling (see last section) - MAP grants held - It has been three weeks since the Illinois Senate approved what was framed as emergency funding for a state program that provides need-based scholarship funding to more than 100,000 Illinois college students.
The Senate passed SB 2043 on a 37-0 roll call, and the belief was that the House would quickly approve the bill as well.

Sept 7, 2015 - Illinois college students caught in the middle of budget standoff - College students in the Metro East area and throughout Illinois should hope the state’s elected leaders come together soon to craft a budget.

That’s because right now, a number of Illinois colleges and universities have agreed to pay the equivalent of what students would normally receive in scholarships from the state as part of the Monetary Award Program, known as MAP.

Sept 3, 2015 - Treasurer: MAP grant should be priority - Ill. Treasurer Mike Frerichs said it is the responsibility of both Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to step up and pass a budget so educational funding may be dispersed.

Sept 2, 2015 - State treasurer wants college aid funding approved - About 1,700 students at area colleges may lose tuition assistance if Illinois officials don't approve its funding in the coming weeks.

Speaking at Augustana College Tuesday, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs urged Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois lawmakers to approve about $373 million in Monetary Award Program funding for nearly 130,000 families statewide.

Sept 1, 2015 - IL leaders and college students push for MAP grants- Some Illinois college students are starting the school year without the financial aid they expected.

They don't have grant money they depend on because the state still hasn't passed a budget.

Sept 1, 2015 - College Student Advocates Press For MAP Funding As State Budget Impasse Continues - As Illinois enters its third month without a budget, college student advocates want state funds freed up for the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Sept 1, 2015 - Local leaders discuss higher education funding concerns - Community leaders from NIU and DeKalb voiced their concerns about funding for higher education Monday at a round table discussion held by Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs.

Sept 1, 2015 - Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs attends NIU roundtable on MAP grants - Thousands of students in DeKalb County have yet to receive millions of dollars in state tuition assistance, and Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs wants that to change.

Aug 31, 2015 - College students plead for MAP grant funding - School has started for thousands of college students in Illinois, but their grant money has yet to be paid by the state.

Monday students who receive those funds along with State Treasurer Michael Frerichs and State Rep. Dan Brady came together with a message for Gov. Rauner, put a budget in place for MAP grants.

Aug 31, 2015 - State treasurer calls for MAP grant solution - State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said Monday it's unfair that funding for tuition assistance is “still in limbo” and called on Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers to approve funding for the Monetary Assistance Program even if it takes a separate bill as the budget impasse enter its third month.

Aug 31, 2015 - State Treasurer Pitches MAP Legislation In ISU Appearance - As the budget stalemate continues in Springfield, students at Illinois Universities are getting anxious over their Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grants. State Treasurer Mike Frerichs, flanked by students and state Representative Dan Brady, says in June the Governor vetoed a budget that included $397-Million in MAP money. But he says the issue is NOT dead

Aug 27, 2015 - Budget mess could leave JALC students without key financial aid - Hundreds of financially needy John A. Logan College students will have to go without critical financial aid this semester unless lawmakers reach a budget fix soon.

Aug 26, 2015 - MAP Grant credit good move for NIU - NIU did the right thing when it credited MAP grant recipients in the midst of a state-wide budget impasse, an action Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner needs to take note of.

Aug 24, 2015 - MAP grants further delayed with state budget problems - Schools in Illinois remain in session despite the unknown status of funding for the state’s Monetary Award Program, or MAP grants.

Aug 24, 2015 - Illinois House to consider MAP grant bill - $343 million at stake for state's college students - Focus will be on the Illinois House today as it takes up a bill that would – some hope – lead to the state authorizing $343 million for the Monetary Award Program for college students. The state Senate voted last week to push the legislation forward.

Aug 24, 2015 - NIU credits fall MAP grants - More than 5,000 NIU students who qualify for Monetary Assistance Program funding have been credited an estimate of what they would have received had an Illinois budget been approved at the start of the semester.

Aug 21, 2015 - Waubonsee to help students with delayed grants - Waubonsee Community College is working a way to help students who might not receive state grants on time this fall.

Aug 21, 2015 - MAP Grants - There's plenty of state spending, even though the legislature never passed a budget that the governor would sign. An exception to that spending is $373 million the governor proposed for the MAP grants. The Monetary Assistance Program helps college students, and the Senate Wednesday passed a bill to restore that money.

Aug 20, 2015 - Senate Approves Aid For Low-Income College Students - Among the casualties of the Illinois budget impasse are grants that help low-income students pay for college. On Wednesday, Democrats in the state Senate voted to address that.

Aug 20, 2015 - Schools 'wait out' unknown MAP funding - Classes are starting at area colleges while schools don't know when — or if — they will receive funding for the state's Monetary Award Program.

Aug 19, 2015 - Despite budget uncertainty, SIU temporarily covers student MAP grants - As students prepare to move into school, many aren't sure if they can afford to pay tuition without a MAP grant.

With the Illinois legislature at a budget impasse, 125,000 students statewide are facing uncertainty as to whether they will receive MAP grant funding.

Aug 19, 2015 - Kishwaukee, NIU deal with MAP grants on hold - Katelynn Worley was worried that she wouldn’t be able to start her sophomore year at Kishwaukee College on Monday.

The 20-year-old nursing major from Kirkland is among the scores of Illinois college students who recently found out the state isn’t funding the Monetary Award Program grants.

Aug 19, 2015 - Effort To End MAP Funding Limbo for IL College Students - There's a chance funding could be freed that would end the MAP funding limbo for many college-bound Illinois students.

About 125,000 students rely on the money from the Monetary Assistance Program grant for tuition, but without a state budget the funding cannot be dispersed.

Aug 18, 2015 - Updated: Senate OKs MAP grant funding, 37-0 - Funding for the Monetary Award Program that provides need-based grants to thousands of low-income college students in Illinois was approved by the Democratic-dominated Senate Wednesday.

Aug 18, 2015 - Expecting financial aid this year? Think again - Abigail Ashcraft, a 29-year-old living in Bourbonnais, didn't get a state grant this year to help pay for her medical laboratory technology classes at Kankakee Community College. She missed the February deadline for classes that started Monday.

Aug 18, 2015 - State democrats push for MAP funding bill - Funding for the Monetary Award Program may or may not shake loose after Illinois Senate Democrats bring a bill forward to the senate on Wednesday.

Aug 18, 2015 - Democrats Pushing for MAP Funding Bill - Illinois Senate Democrats say they are compromising with a push for a bill to fund grants for college students at a lesser amount than they originally hoped. As the state continues into Day 49 of the new fiscal year with no budget in place Senate Democrats say they plan to take up a measure to fund the Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grants.

Aug 17, 2015 - Illinois MAP grants in jeopardy due to state budget dilemmaIllinois’ budget deadlock will soon effect even more people.

Aug 17, 2015 - Illinois Dems push to fund state grants for college students - Senate Democrats are pushing to fund grants for Illinois college students even though the state doesn't have a budget in place.

Aug 16, 2015 - Some Illinois colleges crediting students for MAP grants - The lack of an Illinois budget means the agency that administers state-funded college grant money for students can't pay schools to cover their tuition, meaning some students may not be able to attend classes this fall.

Aug 14, 2015 - Budget impasse keeps college students’ grants in limbo - In less than a week, students will be moving into the residence halls at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, but many still won’t know whether their tuition bill is paid.

Thousands of Illinois college students receive tuition assistance in the form of the Monetary Assistance Program grant, which is a state grant for low-income college students. Administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the grants are awarded based on the family’s income and the number of classes a student plans to take.

Aug 14, 2015 - Illinois' budget impasse mean students MAP grants go unpaid - The lack of an Illinois budget means the agency that administers state-funded college grant money for students can't pay schools to cover their tuition.

However, many schools in Illinois are crediting student accounts for the Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grants under the assumption that there will eventually be a state budget and the money will be paid to the universities and colleges.

Aug 14, 2015 - WIU passes out MAP grant funding, despite lack of state budget - Illinois lawmakers' inability to pass a budget is leaving some college students in limbo, but a local university is stepping in to help.

Western Illinois University has decided to go ahead and credit MAP grant funding to students accounts, even though the university won't get paid until a state budget is passed.

Aug 14, 2015 - IVCC to cover MAP awards - As classes are set to begin Monday, Aug. 17, at Illinois Valley Community College, the college will honor state-funded Monetary Award Program (MAP) tuition grants despite the continuing state budget stalemate.

Aug 13, 2015 - Local colleges crediting students for MAP grants held up by state budget impasse - Students who depend on Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants to help with college tuition and fees are in limbo because of the state budget impasse, but most apparently will be able to attend classes this fall.

Aug 13, 2015 - Guest View: College student aid on the brink - This is an exciting and anxious time of the year for many students starting or heading back to college. Campuses will soon be buzzing with activity, from move-in days to organizing classes. But for around 136,000 of the state’s most financially vulnerable students, the excitement of the start of a new school year comes with real uncertainty.

Aug 11, 2015 - State budget stalemate leaves college MAP grants in limbo - With college students headed back to school over the next few weeks, yet another concern about the incomplete state of Illinois’ budget is becoming apparent.

About 125,000 lower-income students across the state rely in part on state-funded Monetary Award Program grant funds to close the gap on their college tuition — except that because state lawmakers haven’t passed a complete spending plan, the agency that oversees those grants hasn’t had the money appropriated to issue them.

Aug 3, 2015 - Education Desk: Colleges Already Feeling Budget Pinch - Last anybody heard, Gov. Bruce Rauner wanted to cut higher education spending drastically, by more than 30 percent. But with the budget stalled in the legislature, colleges have no idea how much money they’ll get.

July 27, 2015 - Peoria Pathways to Prosperity recognized at education conference - Peoria Pathways to Prosperity, a collaboration among local agencies designed to increase high school and college graduation rates, was one of five communities statewide recognized at the recent College Changes Everything Conference in Tinley Park.

The communities were honored for their work in advancing Illinois’ goal of increasing the number of adults with college or other certifications to 60 percent by 2025.

July 11, 2015 - State budget gridlock could affect college grants - The commission that oversees college tuition assistance for an estimated 140,000 low-income Illinoisans says the ongoing budget impasse could have a "negative impact" on students.

June 25, 2015 - The high cost of higher education - Lawmakers highlight importance of funding for universities - The Illinois Senate met June 16 to discuss the cost of college in Illinois in anticipation of sending the higher education funding bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who included a 30 percent cut to colleges and universities in his proposed budget – a larger cut than any other department received. Senators heard testimony from students, faculty and administrators of the higher education and student aid systems.

May 26, 2015 - Get smart about planning for the cost of college - College admission notifications are starting to arrive. With every thrilling acceptance letter comes something far less welcome: the daunting reality of what it costs.

May 20, 2015 - Sandwich High School hosts awards night, honors seniors - At the annual Sandwich High School Senior Honors Awards Night on May 11, the community recognized the accomplishments and rewarded the efforts of the Class of 2015.

May 19, 2015 - McHenry County, other experts on student loan best practices - When Brady Olson began shopping for colleges, he knew financial forethought would play a major role in his decision-making process.

May 14, 2015 - College class of 2015 will have highest debt levels in history - As Rockford University's senior class gets ready for graduation this weekend many students there and across the nation will face a large bill. A new report by Edvisors.com says the class of 2015 will have an average of $35,000 in debt. That's the highest in history.

May 11, 2015 - College Illinois Signup Extended - Parents looking into the state's College Illinois savings program have a little more time to sign up.  The deadline for the current enrollment period has been extended through June 1st, leaving plenty of time for you to take advantage of the program.

May 9, 2015 - Wintrust Business Lunch - ...Later, he’s joined by Eric Zarnikow of College Illinois to talk about saving for college and how to make it more affordable. (Interview begins at 16.20)

May 9, 2015 - Why more rural liberal arts colleges are giving up - In 2003, Benedictine University rescued failing Springfield College. The new administration went on to introduce four-year degrees, added a residence hall and renovated two others.

April 29, 2015 - MAP grants already received are safe, commission says - No college or university student who already received a grant from the Monetary Assistance Program for this school year will have to give that money back as a result of a late fiscal year budget fix, according to a spokeswoman for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which oversees the program.

April 28, 2015 - 3000 students not receiving MAP grants due to budget cuts - An Illinois Student Assistance Commission official says even a small setback for paying for school can prevent a financially needy student from completing a degree.

April 28, 2015 - College Illinois Deadline Coming - Parents have just a few more days to sign up to pre-pay college costs. The deadline to buy into College Illinois is April 30th. The prepaid tuition program allows individuals to pay for tuition at current costs. Illinois Student Assistance Commission Executive Director Eric Zarnikow says it can save parents thousands.

April 25, 2015 - Progress: D150's CNA program offers students a new opportunity in the health care field - The Peoria area has more jobs in the health care field than any other occupational category. That’s likely to grow over the next decade, according to a report compiled last fall for education and business organizations.

April 21, 2015 - ISAC Money Smart Week tips, WJBC Bloomington

April 21, 2015 - Tips on saving money for college

April 21, 2015 - Tuition program offers tips to make college a reality - The College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program is offering some tips to help make college a reality for Illinois families.

April, 2015 - Warning! Crisis ahead: Student debt worries on many Chicago parents' minds - The numbers on student debt are alarming. But the cultural domino effect for the $1.2 trillion in student debt weighing down kids' lives is even more frightening.

Feb 19, 2015 - Take a deep breath: Knowledge is power planning for future college tuition - Between changing diapers or feedings for their newborn, parents may want to take a look at college tuition projections for the next two decades. Then take a deep breath and equip themselves with knowledge. The total cost of a four-year degree at most public universities is projected to be more than $200,000 in 20 years, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Feb 18, 2015 - Rauner proposes $44M funding cut for SIUC - State funding for Illinois universities will be cut more than 31 percent if Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner gets his way.

Feb 6, 2015 - - Online tool can help students with scholarships and more - High school students who are hunting for college scholarships, exploring career options or figuring out how to manage loans can find help in one spot on a recently-added "student portal" created by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Jan 29, 2015 - New Scholarship Search Tool - You can explore college scholarship opportunities with the help of a new search tool. Lynne Baker with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission says a free web portal brings student debt, financial aid, career planning and more information right to your fingertips. The idea is to make the overwhelming process of figuring out how to pay for college a little easier.

Jan 29, 2015 - Portals offer access to college scholarships - A new search tool helps families find college scholarships.

Jan 29, 2015 - 529 College Savings Plan to Stay Intact - President Obama is doing away with his plans to tax the 529 plan, which is one way for parents to save money for their kids' college tuition. He faced opposition on both sides of the aisle, so he made the decision.

Jan 28, 2015 - New tool to help parents and students find funding for college - As parents and prospective college students prepare their finances to line up funding to pay for higher education, there’s a new tool in their arsenal. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission announced a partnership with a group to provide college and scholarship search tools for prospective students. ISAC says they have a special portal that utilizes Cappex (dot) com. Cappex provides students with access to detailed information on colleges across the country, provides reviews and lets students compare schools tuition rates and costs.

Jan 28, 2015 - Younger Generation: Celebrating the achievements of young adults - Nine senior students at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.

Jan 28, 2015 - ISAC, Cappex Join Hands To Provide Search Tools to College Bound Students - The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) and Cappex.com joined hands to provide students with search tools that would help them identify available scholarships in colleges and universities.

Jan 12, 2015 - Free course aimed at understanding college costs - Students, parents and recent college graduates trying to navigate through the jungle of paying for a college education have a new tool: free online courses under the name of My Money 101.

Jan 12, 2015 - Free college financial aid/FAFSA completion events offered  - College applicants and their parents can get assistance to complete and submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at sessions across Lake County from Jan. 10 through early March. All sessions are scheduled in computer labs that enable students to submit the application electronically upon completion.

Jan 11, 2015 - FAFSA workshop Jan. 17 at Maine East - A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) workshop will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, at Maine East High School, 2601 Dempster St., Park Ridge.

Jan 1, 2015 - Need financial aid? Now's the time …But students shouldn’t dawdle — money runs out early for some grants, including the need-based Illinois Monetary Award Program, said Dan Mann, UI director of financial aid. Stroud has been preaching that “do not wait” message to her seniors for several weeks.

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