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Illinois Educational Benefit Programs

For more information about a specific program, click the appropriate link below.

Monetary Award Program (MAP)
Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG)
Illinois National Guard Grant (ING)
MIA/POW Scholarship

Monetary Award Program

The Monetary Award Program (MAP) provides grants, which do not need to be repaid, to those Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need. The funds from this program are only applied toward tuition and mandatory fees, not to exceed the maximum award amount for the academic year.

Eligibility
To determine if a student is eligible for MAP, the student must sign and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to the announced suspense date each academic year and agree to share the information with Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). ISAC relies on specific data elements/questions on the FAFSA to determine eligibility.

Other requirements for eligibility are that a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be a legal resident of Illinois;
  • Demonstrate financial need;
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of three credit hours in a degree or certificate program at an approved Illinois college, for either a semester or quarter term throughout the institution’s tuition refund/withdrawal adjustment period;
  • Comply with federal Selective Service registration requirements;
  • Maintain the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards of the institution, which is certified at the time MAP payment is requested;

Students cannot be considered for MAP if s/he:

  • Has received a baccalaureate degree or is a graduate student;
  • Is in default on any student loan or owes a refunds or repayment of any state or federal grant or scholarship;
  • Is incarcerated;
  • Is otherwise not eligible to receive federal financial assistance as an undergraduate student;
  • Has used 75 or more MAP Paid Credit Hours (MPCH).

Eligibility may be extended for one additional term if the recipient has accumulated fewer than 75 MPCH, but does not have enough credit hours of payment remaining for the number of hours in which s/he is enrolled for the term.

Award Determination
The institution receives award announcements via the GAP Access System on all Student Aid Report (SAR) transactions. The maximum annual amount for a student is based on relative financial eligibility at an ISAC-approved institution and a full-time enrollment of fifteen (15) credit hours.

Disbursements
MAP funds are paid directly to the institution which has certified the recipient’s eligibility. When funds are received by the institution from the State of Illinois, the Business Office will apply the appropriate MAP payments to the student’s account.

Illinois Veteran Grant

The Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) is an entitlement program that waives tuition and mandatory fees for eligible applicants at Illinois public colleges or community colleges regardless of the state funding level. Qualified applicants may use this grant at the undergraduate or graduate level for the equivalent of four full-time academic years measured by eligibility units.

Eligibility
To be considered eligible for IVG, a student must apply for this program online at studentportal.isac.org and:

  • Meet one of the two following criteria:
    • Have served at least one year of federal active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, which may include the Illinois National Guard and the Reserve component of the Armed Forces;
    • Regardless of length of service, have served in a foreign country in a time of hostilities in that country; was medically discharged for service related reasons; or was discharged prior to August 11, 1967.
  • Have received an honorable discharge for each period of federal active duty service, and/or be honorably serving.
  • Not be a current member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).
  • Meet one of the two following criteria:
    • Have been a resident of Illinois at the time of entering federal active duty or within six months prior to entering the service;
    • Have been a student at an Illinois public 2- or 4-year college at the time of entering federal active duty.
  • Meets one of the two following criteria:
    • Have established, or plan to establish, Illinois residency within six months after leaving federal active duty service;
    • If married to a person in continued military service:
      • Have applied for this grant within six months after and including the date that the spouse was stationed within Illinois;
      • If spouse was stationed outside Illinois, have a plan to establish Illinois residency within six months after and including the date the spouse separated.
  • Reside in Illinois unless the student is serving federal active duty service at the time of enrollment in college or residing with a spouse in continued military service who is currently stationed outside of Illinois.
  • Be enrolled at an Illinois 2- or 4- year college and maintain the minimum grade point average (GPA) required by the college.
  • Not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant.

Applications should not be submitted later than the last day of the term the student is enrolled to be considered for benefits in that term. Qualified applicants will receive an IVG Notice of Eligibility Letter and Addendum that should be taken to the Financial Aid Office where a copy of this letter will be retained in the student’s Veteran file. A notice of eligibility from ISAC must be used by the institution to establish a qualified applicant’s initial eligibility.

Benefit Usage and Processing
Upon receipt of the Notice of Eligibility letter, the Financial Aid Office will notify the Business Office of the student’s eligibility for IVG benefits. The Business Office will submit a payment request to ISAC to report the total number of hours for which payment is being requested and will then apply payment to the Veteran’s account.

Illinois National Guard Grant

The Illinois National Guard (ING) grant is an entitlement program that waives tuition and eligible fees for qualified applicants at Illinois public colleges or community colleges regardless of the state funding level. Qualified applicants may use this grant at the undergraduate or graduate level for the equivalent of four or six full-time academic years measured by eligibility units.

Eligibility
To be eligible for the ING grant, students must apply for the program annually at studentportal.isac.org and:

  • Be an Illinois National Guard member, defined as meeting one of the two following criteria:
    • Be active in the Illinois National Guard;
    • Have been active in the Illinois National Guard for at least five consecutive years and have been called to federal active duty for at least six months and be within 12 months after the discharge date from the Illinois National Guard.
  • Have completed one full year of service in the Illinois National Guard.
  • Be an enlisted member or an officer (Public Act 94-583).
  • Be enrolled at an Illinois public 2- or 4- year college and maintain an acceptable grade point average (GPA) determined by the institution.
  • Not be in default on any student loan, or owe a refund on any state or federal grant.

Applications must be submitted by October 1 of the aid year for full year benefit consideration, March 1 for second and/or third semester/quarter consideration, and June 15 for only summer term consideration.

Benefit Usage and Processing
Upon receipt on the Notice of Eligibility letter, the Financial Aid Office will notify the Business Office of the student’s eligibility for ING grant benefits. The Business Office will submit a payment request to ISAC in order to report the total number of hours for which payment is being requested following the tuition refund/withdrawal period and prior to the priority claim date for the term.

MIA/POW Scholarship

 

This scholarship is administered by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and provides tuition and certain fees for dependents of persons who were Illinois residents at the time they entered active duty and have been declared to be prisoners of war, missing in action, died as the result of a service connected disability, or disabled with 100% disability as a result of a service connected cause as recognized by the U.S Department of Veterans’ Affairs or U.S. Department of Defense.

 

Eligibility
Any spouse, natural child, legally adopted child, or step-child of an eligible veteran or serviceperson who possesses all necessary entrance requirements shall, upon application and proper proof, be awarded the MIA/POW Scholarship. The child must begin using the scholarship prior to his or her twenty-sixth birthday.

 

Applications can be found at www.illinois.gov/veterans or in the Financial Aid Office. Qualified applicants will receive an I.D. card for the scholarship.

 

Benefit Usage and Processing
Students receiving the MIA/POW Scholarship should submit a copy of the I.D. card to the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Office will notify the Business Office of a student’s eligibility. The scholarship will be applied to applicable tuition and fees.

 

 

More information regarding these (and other ISAC programs) can be found here.
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