StudentMARYVILLE – To provide support for families looking to send a student to college, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) are urging residents to explore financial aid resources through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

“The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on the college aspirations of students from low-income backgrounds,” Belt said. “Providing these students and their families the college and career planning resources they need is more important than ever.”

To address pandemic-related challenges facing high schools and graduating seniors as they work to complete financial aid applications for the Fall 2021 semester, ISAC has added initiatives to its college outreach programs, including online workshops and other virtual assistance options.

“Education is one of our strongest tools to regain economic stability, but our school system has been burdened by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Crowe said. “Ensuring students are able to attend higher education after graduation is a valuable step toward getting Illinois back on track.”

From one-on-one assistance to students and families to online financial aid modules for teachers, the state’s college access and financial aid agency is committed to providing free statewide support.

Illinois ended 2020 by ranking first in the nation for having the highest percentage of students complete the Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In 2019, Belt and Crowe supported a measure to require all Illinois public high school seniors to complete FAFSA as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma.

For more information, visit ISAC’s website.