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Illinois commission cuts student grant money

Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 3:30 p.m. CDT

NORMAL (AP) — The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is making a 10 percent cut in grants given through its Monetary Awards Program after a shortage of money caused by an increase in student demand.

The shortage happened because of a miscalculation when more students than expected claimed grants this spring, said ISAC spokesman John Samuels. The cuts total about $2 million statewide, The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported Monday, (http://bit.ly/10ex7Nh).

The agency notifies more students about grants than it has money for in expectation that not all students will collect.

During the fall semester students claimed less money than expected but, "then, all of a sudden, the claim rate shot up for the second term," Samuels said.

About 141,000 students statewide receive MAP grants, which are awarded based on a filing date for those who qualify. The state agency consulted with school financial aid leaders and decided to focus on 9,800 students who received grant money after an extended acceptance date.

But those students shouldn't be affected because most schools will absorb the cuts. For example, Illinois State University will lose about $50,000 and Heartland Community College in Normal will lose about $8,000.

Heartland director of financial aid Kim Donat said, "The key here is all of our students will receive the amount of money they were told they would get."

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