That was one of 11 broad conclusions reached by the 18-member task
force following six months of deliberations and six public meetings
in Bloomington-Normal, Chicago and Springfield.
"While MAP is one of the state's most successful public policy
initiatives and while the state has attempted to prioritize MAP
funding in difficult budget times, approximately 50 percent of
eligible students do not receive a grant, due to limited resources,"
said Eric Zarnikow, who chairs the task force. Zarnikow is executive
director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
"MAP has been instrumental in the state's current level of
workforce credential attainment of 43 percent -- among the top 10
states for this measure -- and is critical to increasing this
percentage to meet the state goal of 60 percent by 2025," Zarnikow
To assist the task force, ISAC staff developed over 100
data-driven scenarios that predicted outcomes from potential changes
in eligibility requirements. This modeling included concepts offered
by institutions, sectors, public officials and the public. Scenarios
were also developed to understand how any changes would affect state
efforts to attain key higher education policy goals: (1) to increase
the number of credentialed workers in the workforce to 60 percent by
2025; and (2) to reduce the achievement gaps that lower-income and
minority students experience to less than 10 percent.
While the task force could not agree on any new broad allocation
methodology that could allocate resources any more fairly or
efficiently than the current method, it did reach consensus about
several potential programmatic changes and areas for continuing
"As the task force discovered, there is no simple
one-size-fits-all solution. However, the task force did reach a
number of important conclusions that can inform future programmatic
administrative rule change considerations," Zarnikow said.
The main conclusions include:
MAP is a very
successful program and is a good value for the state.
The single biggest
problem for MAP is insufficient funding.
access to college for low-income, often first-generation
students should be MAP's primary goal, as there are many other
efforts that support completion goals for all students.
MAP dollars should
go to the students from the lowest- income families.
application processing deadline needs to be extended for
returning older, nontraditional students or first-time students
unfamiliar with the application process.
could benefit from additional nonfinancial support such as
financial aid and academic counseling, both before starting and
while attending a postsecondary school.
Future decisions about MAP would
benefit from more research about the optimal level of student
financial aid to most efficiently be an incentive for attendance
The report notes that in 2002, the maximum award covered the
average cost of tuition and fees at an Illinois public university;
in fiscal 2013, it covers about 37 percent of the cost. In 2002, MAP
completely covered the cost of community college tuition and fees.
Currently, the maximum award for community college students covers
about 51 percent of the cost.
The task force was created by
Senate Joint Resolution 69, adopted by both chambers of the
Illinois General Assembly during the spring 2012 session, that
called on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission "to convene a
task force to deliberate options for the adoption of new rules for
MAP ... with the goal of improving the outcomes for students who
receive these awards." SJR 69 further delineated three additional
Improvement in the
partnerships between the states and institutions offering
overall effectiveness of MAP grants in helping students of need
not only enter college, but complete a degree program.
Recognizing that all colleges and
universities have different student populations and varying
missions that are inherently good and valuable.
SJR 69 also directed the task force to consider three specific
eligibility to participate in MAP be based, in part, on its
ability to improve its MAP-grant students' progress toward a
degree or its recipients' completion rate.
eligibility to receive a grant be based, in part, on ability to
demonstrate academic success and progress.
That an institution's eligibility be
based, in part, on its ability to demonstrate that it is
providing financial aid to students from its own resources.
The complete report as well as all public submissions and
reference documents are available on the ISAC website:
[to top of second column]
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission was established in
1957. ISAC's mission is to make college accessible and affordable
for Illinois students. Best known for the Monetary Award Program,
the agency administers most of the state's need-based financial aid
programs that target students seeking postsecondary education. Since
1957, the commission has provided more than $9.1 billion in grants,
scholarships and non-loan aid, and made more than 4.8 million awards
to Illinois students and families.
In addition, ISAC delivers outreach programs and services to
students and education professionals throughout Illinois. Key
outreach services are provided by the nationally recognized ISACorps,
a community-based team of about 85 recent college graduates who
mentor students and work with their families to help them make
well-informed decisions about how to prepare for, pay for and attend
college. In 2012, ISAC's College Access & Outreach Staff led,
conducted or assisted with over 4,000 events attended by over
ISAC also administers College Illinois, the state's prepaid
tuition program that helps families save on the future cost of
tuition and fees. Since inception, the program has paid more than
$400 million in tuition and fees on behalf of over 25,000 students.
Task force members
Office of Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon
- Dr. Lynne Haeffele
Senior policy director for education
Dr. Randy Kangas
Associate vice president, planning and budgeting
University of Illinois
Director of financial aid
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Public community colleges
Dr. John Avendano
Kankakee Community College
Associate vice chancellor, student financial services
City Colleges of Chicago
Nonprofit, private colleges and
- David Tretter
Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities
Proprietary colleges and
- Michelle Stipp
Director of regulatory affairs
Illinois Association of Student
Financial Aid Administrators
- Susan Swishe
Director of financial aid
St. Xavier University
ILASFAA MAP Formula Committee chair
MAP recipient, independent student
- Theresa Bashiri-Remetio
Oakton Community College
MAP recipient, dependent student
- Joseph Kamberos
Student Financial Aid Alliance
Illinois Board of Higher Education
- Dr. Frances Carroll
IBHE board member
Illinois Community College Board
- Suzanne Morris
ICCB vice chair
Illinois Board of Higher Education,
Faculty Advisory Council
- Dr. Steven Rock
Professor of economics
Western Illinois University
Public interest group
- Anne Ladky
- Dr. Kevin O'Mara
Argo Community High School
Researcher -- educational
inequality, race and ethnicity
- Dr. William Trent
Professor of education policy, organization and leadership, and
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Illinois Student Assistance
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]