SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — As many as 140,000 college students could be denied financial aid, as a state-operated source of funds has gone dry much earlier than usual.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, last year, money from the state’s Monetary Award Program, or MAP, grants for college students first ran out on March 21. This year, the $387 million were all spoken for by March 13.

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“Right now, it looks like between 140,000 and 145,000 have been awarded, and our projection from our research department indicates that perhaps another 140,000 will not be able to receive something – although they’re otherwise eligible,” said John Samuels of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

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Samuels says Gov. Pat Quinn has asked the Illinois General Assembly to replenish the MAP grants fund with an additional $50 million. If that happens, another 35,000 students would be able to get grants averaging $2,700.

Under the MAP grant system, students are given grants on a first-come, first-served basis until the money runs out for the year.

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LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports