CHICAGO-- City Colleges of Chicago is helping parents and students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for available state and federal funds to help pay for college. Up to $10,000 is available for eligible students that can be used to attend both two-year and four-year institutions. The state provides nearly $5,000 to residents who attend in-state colleges, but only 42 percent of eligible students received funding last year.
Nearly 90 percent of City Colleges of Chicago students are eligible for financial aid and 350,000 students across Illinois were eligible for the state-funded Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants. With the challenging economy, the number of eligible students has been rising and state funding for MAP grants has been running out as early as the end of March. City Colleges encourages students and prospective students to fill out their FAFSA forms no later than March 15th so that eligible students receive available MAP grants.
“Many students are not aware that state funding is expected to run out in March and that changes to federal funding may impact them as early as this summer,” said Harold Washington College president Don Laackman at a financial aid workshop on Wednesday. “We want to make sure students across Chicago submit their FAFSA early so that they take advantage of up to $10,000 available in grants to fund their education.”
Laackman was joined by Michael K. Yudin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education for the U.S. Department of Education, at a financial aid event held at Harold Washington College Wednesday to remind parents and students about the need to fill out FAFSA forms early. In addition, Laackman announced that City Colleges across Chicago will hold a series of Financial Aid Workshops that are open to the public between now and the priority deadline of March 15th.
Throughout the month of February, City Colleges hosted more than 40 financial aid workshops and provided hands-on assistance to help 800 students file their FAFSA forms early to ensure students save on the cost of their education. In addition, City Colleges provides students with an affordable education that can save them up to $40,000 on the first two years of a bachelor’s degree.
“We must continue to build a public education system that graduates students with the skills and education they need to go on to college or earn credentials that prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Laackman added. “But without financial assistance, many of our young people cannot afford to go on to college. That is why we are hosting a series of workshops to ensure students have the tools they need to receive the maximum financial aid available.”
City Colleges of Chicago Financial Aid Offices are open to students and parents who need assistance when completing their FAFSA forms or have questions about financial aid eligibility. Students should bring their identification number (Social Security Number and Permanent Resident Number), the most recent copy of their tax return and information on any assets. If a student is supported by his or her parents, the student should also bring his or her parents’ tax return, Social Security Numbers (if applicable) and birthdates.
Through March 16th Financial Aid Workshops will be available to the public at all seven colleges throughout Chicago including:
- Harold Washington College: March 9th, March 14th, March 16th
- Harry S Truman College: March 13th, March 15th
- Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center: March 9th
- Kennedy-King College: March 8th, March 13th, March 15th
- Malcolm X College: March 9th, March 16th
- Olive Harvey College: March 9th, March 13th, March 14th
- Richard J. Daley College: March 9th, March 15th, March 16th
- Wright College: March 9th, March 13th, March 15th
For specific dates/hours and locations, click here.