The state of Illinois has apparently run out of financial aid for the state’s needy college students. According to an article by Jodi Cohen in the Chicago Tribune:

The state is on pace to receive a record number of applications for 2012-13 from the Monetary Award Program, the primary source of need-based financial aid. The scholarship money, awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, was depleted by students who applied by March 13.

It’s the earliest the state has run out of funds for MAP grants, said John Samuels, spokesman for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the agency that administers the program. About 140,000 to 145,000 students are expected to get the aid, worth up to $4,968. An estimated 140,000 eligible students will be denied.

Students can begin to applying for the funding on January 1. Apparently 40,000 more students applied compared to this time last year. Back in 2007, students who applied in August could still get money to attend school in September.

“It’s a sign of incredible demand more than anything else,” Samuels explained to Cohen.

“Demand,” however, is in this case a euphemism. Since the money is need-based, the fact that Illinois is running out so early is a sign that many, many more families are unable to otherwise afford college.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer