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ISAC to stop MAP Grant awards Saturday

February 28, 2013

Photo of a stack of moneyThe Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is suspending the announcement of 2013-14 Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for all students whose initial 2013-14 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is received on or after Saturday, March 2, 2013. That means students wishing to be considered for a MAP Grant need to submit their FAFSAs by 11:59 p.m. Friday.

The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.gov or in paper form and in Spanish. NIU’s school code is 001737.

“I strongly urge students to immediately complete the 2013-14 FAFSA application to be considered for the Illinois MAP Grant,” said Rebecca Babel, director of the Northern Illinois University Student Financial Aid Office. “When completing the FAFSA, you may provide estimated tax information and update to actual amounts at a later date.”

Approximately 5,600 NIU students received MAP Grants in fall 2012, amounting to $11 million in state student aid. For many, MAP is the vital difference in whether or not a student is able to afford to attend college.

Babel recommended students take advantage of tomorrow’s “FAFSA Friday” to receive assistance with the online application. FAFSA Fridays run each Friday through the end of the spring semester in Swen Parson 245.

“Students also are always welcome to stop by the office or contact us through online chat, phone or email,” Babel added, noting the following contact information:

NIU Student Financial Aid Office
Swen Parson 245
(815) 753-1395
[email protected]
www.niu.edu/fa

While the office recognizes that students may not be able to meet the March 2 MAP deadline, they still are urged to complete the federal FAFSA application as soon as possible, as plenty of federal dollars, as other types of financial aid including the Pell Grant and Federal Direct (Student) Loan, are still available.

Meanwhile, there is also a possibility that MAP money might free up after all the payments are made: Some people who apply for and receive MAP grants decide later against college. If funds are left over, ISAC typically will extend the MAP suspension date, allowing for more students to receive MAP awards.