CHICAGO – In honor of College Changes Everything Month, Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) is promoting financial assistance for students completing their college applications.
“Many families can’t afford the financial burden of college,” Martwick said. “Illinois can help. Funds are available and the different avenues for financial aid give struggling students a better chance at realizing and fulfilling their goals.”
Today marks the sixth year for College Changes Everything Month in Illinois, where college planning activities accelerate in October. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission and its partners have an intensive schedule of free college and financial aid planning for students and families from Labor Day through to Thanksgiving. The FAFSA and alternatives for the 2022-23 school year are both available on their website.
Students are encouraged to complete their FAFSA form as soon as possible to have the opportunity to receive all the financial aid for which they might be eligible.
Alternatives for FAFSA provide a way for any undocumented and transgender students to apply for financial aid. The Monetary Award Program should be completed alongside the FAFSA, if possible, in order to determine federal and state financial aid.
“College is getting more expensive, and saving up is becoming more of a struggle year after year for many Illinois families,” Martwick said. “These programs are available today. If you are struggling or think you may have difficulty paying for college, apply to these grants immediately to help ensure your financial assistance is secure for the next school year.”
If a student is unsure which application to complete, they can contact the financial aid office of the college or university they plan on attending or an ISACorps member for assistance. Pre-screening questions on the Alternative Application itself can also assist a student in determining which application to complete.
Students who are applying to multiple Illinois public universities will find it easier this year, as all Illinois public and many private universities will be using the popular Common Application.
Many more financial aid programs and assistance, including workshops, free one-on-one assistance, text messaging alerts, videos, and chats, are available at https://ISAC.org.