Federal Pell Grants still available for Illinois college students for 2013-2014 year


Though Illinois' Monetary Award Program (MAP) monies are projected to be exhausted, Illinois college students who are MAP-eligible are likely to qualify for a Federal Pell Grant, according to Illinois Student Assistance Commission's (ISAC) Executive Director Eric Zarnikow.      

“While not every student eligible for a grant claims one, last year Illinois students received more than $1.3 billion in Pell Grants. When combined, MAP plus Pell accounted for nearly $1.7 billion in non-loan financial assistance,” Mr. Zarnikow added. “Pell is vitally important, especially when MAP funding is exhausted.” 

Mr. Zarnikow noted that nearly 94 percent of MAP-eligible students are also eligible for Pell. For a community college student in Illinois, the maximum Pell Grant covers 100 percent of tuition and fees with some money remaining to help pay for books and other expenses. 

“It’s important that students not end their search for non-loan assistance once MAP awards are suspended,” he added. “But, as with almost all financial assistance, the important first step is for a student to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).” 

Pell Grants are to promote access to postsecondary education for undergraduates with low incomes. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions including all Illinois public institutions and most private and many proprietary schools located in the state. 

Grant amounts are dependent on the student's expected family contribution to pay for college; the cost of attending the institution; the student's full-time or part-time enrollment status; and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.


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