Key financial aid deadline Thursday night

FAFSA!Attention NIU students: now is the time to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Students depending on Illinois’ Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant to help pay for college will need to complete and submit their FAFSA before 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, to be considered for the award during the 2014-15 school year.

Administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, MAP grants provide up to $4,968 in state-funded grants to Illinois residents attending approved in-state colleges, while also demonstrating financial need according to the information on their FAFSAs.

Applicants who do not meet the Feb. 27 deadline will be placed in award announcement suspension.

By completing a FAFSA, students could be eligible for more than $13,000 in federal and state financial aid, depending on the financial circumstances of the applicant, including Pell grants and federal student loans in addition to Illinois MAP grants. Additionally, students might be eligible for institutional aid from NIU in the form of grants and merit scholarships.

Illinois Student Assistance Commission logoThe FAFSA is also required to borrow non-need based student loan funds.

“Filling out the FAFSA is the essential first step in receiving college financial aid,” said Rebecca Babel, director of student financial aid. “If possible, use information from a completed 2013 tax return; if not, you can estimate the information and update it once the return is completed.”

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

Current and prospective students can get help completing the FAFSA by visiting the NIU Student Financial Aid Office website or by speaking with a counselor at (800) 892-3050. Counselors are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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