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MAP Facts

How MAP works

  • MAP grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis based on financial need to students who fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    • Financial need is determined by subtracting a student’s family resources from the chosen college’s total cost of attendance. 
    • The award amount is based on the number of credit hours for which the student is enrolled, with full awards going to students enrolled in 15 hours or more per semester.
    • Eligible applicants who are not initially awarded grants have their applications put “in suspense”—essentially, on a wait list. If fewer applicants claim their grants than ISAC initially projected, the agency can offer grants to applicants who were initially on the “wait list.”

About MAP recipients

  • More than half (54%) of MAP recipients are so low-income that the federal government doesn't consider them able to contribute any resources to pay for college. In FY2017, the average family income of a dependent (“traditional”) MAP recipient was $33,632/year, and the average income of an independent (“non-traditional”) MAP recipient was $17,268/year.
  • Of the undergraduates at Illinois's public universities who identify themselves as Black or Hispanic, more than half receive a MAP grant.
  • 56% of MAP recipients are first-generation college students. (First-generation students are defined here as those who do not have at least one parent with a postsecondary credential.)
  • Despite their financial challenges, MAP recipients graduate from college at about the same rates as their peers at the same institutions. 
  • MAP recipients are enrolled in all sectors of higher education, with the largest percentage of students in the community college sector.

2017 MAP Grants Offered and Accepted by Sector


Offered Award
% of Awards Offered
Accepted Award
% of Awards Accepted
Acceptance Rate
$ Awards (in millions)
Average Award
Public Universities 55,589 30% 43,267 36% 78% $154.09  $3,561
Private NFP Institutions 48,521 26% 37,013 30% 76% $145.17 $3,922
Community Colleges 73,474 40% 37,296 31% 51% $36.10 $968
Proprietary Institutions 8,013 4% 4,003 3% 50% $11.07 $2,765
Total 185,597 100% 121,579 100% 66% $346.44 $2,850

Dollar amount of award is based on student's estimated financial need, hours enrolled, and cost of attendance at student's selected MAP-eligible school.

MAP Awards Offered and MAP Award Acceptance Rates by Sector (FY 2017)Click here for an expanded view