Students and families in Illinois are facing significant challenges as the state’s now ten-month budget delay has held up funding for higher education, including funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), the state’s largest need-based grant program for college students. Even with the recent stop-gap measure that provides partial funding, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about next fall. And that uncertainty has left many students—particularly low-income college students—wondering how they will pay for college if MAP funding is not restored.
As students look to find other funding to go—or stay—in school, there’s perhaps no more important time to get money-smart. In addition to providing free workshops during Money Smart Week® (April 23-30), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has aggregated on its Student Portal some of its most popular financial literacy resources and tools to help students and families learn how to take control of their personal finances and make informed financial choices about colleges and student loans:
- Learn about everything from credit cards to budgeting to making smart choices about student loans with the tools available through ISAC’s partner, SALT™ Money.
- As financial aid award letters start to arrive from colleges this month, use ISAC’s online tool to compare financial aid awards.
- Play the online FinAid game to see how much you know about financial aid.
- Sign up for ISAC College Q&A, a free text messaging service that allows you to text questions about the college-going and/or financial aid process, and get answers from ISAC counselors sent directly to your phone.
- Search for an ISACorps member or a free workshop to get in-person assistance with the college-going and financial aid process.
In addition to the resources listed above, students can go from learning about money to making it by checking out more than 3,000 listings for Illinois positions on the Student Portal’s new Summer Position/Internship Job Board, which is updated daily.
Visit www.isac.org/studentportal-financialliteracy for more information.