MAP grant change helps colleges keep Illinois students in the state
New laws seek to give Illinois’ colleges and universities the necessary tools to attract in-state students, advancing improved financial aid plans, a more liberal application of credit transfers, and increased student counseling support.
While the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) renewals are awarded annually throughout a student’s post-secondary education, under House Bill 5020 priority consideration will now be given to existing recipients. Nearly 130,000 students received MAP grants in Fiscal Year 2018 and all but graduating students may be eligible for priority status in Fiscal Year 2019.
Senate Bill 2354 was also signed, a product of the General Assembly’s bipartisan, bicameral Higher Education Working Group organized with the goal of making Illinois’ colleges and universities more attractive and affordable for students across the state. The new law makes it easier for thousands of students to “reverse transfer” credits from one Illinois school to another, offering a low-cost alternative to award degrees to individuals who have accrued a significant number of college credits, but are left without a postsecondary credential despite having earned enough credits to be eligible for an associate degree.
In order to help prevent students from spending time and money on needless credits, the measure also encourages institutions to counsel students who expect to transfer to a public university on how best to apply credits toward degrees. This legislation seeks to help more students finish their degrees and prevent students from spending time and money on needless credits.