JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

2020-21 MAP Updates


Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).

ISAC is sharing the following information to assist colleges as they prepare for the upcoming implementation of the 2020-21 Monetary Award Program (MAP) start-up formula that was approved at the September 12, 2019 Commission meeting.

Additional operational details, including the specific date on which 2020-21 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) will first appear in the MAP system (anticipated for early October), will be provided as they become available.

2020-21 Priority Deadline Date for Returning MAP Recipients – December 1, 2019

Beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, ISAC will establish a priority deadline date by which returning MAP recipients are to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) in order to receive priority access to appropriated MAP funds. Returning recipients are students who received MAP funds during the previous academic year, i.e., for 2020-21, students who received MAP for 2019-20. All MAP eligibility requirements must continue to be met.

The 2020-21 priority deadline date is December 1, 2019 (through and including).

Communicating Priority Deadline Date to Students

Knowing colleges use a variety of methods to communicate with students, we have compiled sample text for different means of conveying the deadline date. You may choose to use any or all of the following language, but are not required to do so. Additionally, colleges with an already-established financial aid deadline that is earlier than the priority deadline date may opt to advertise that date rather than the later December 1 date.

E-mail text:

If you are an Illinois student receiving a MAP grant in the 2019-20 academic year and plan to attend college again in 2020-21, file your 2020-21 FAFSA by December 1, 2019 for priority access to a MAP grant.

This doesn’t mean you should wait until December 1 to file your FAFSA. ISAC and [college name] encourage all students to complete their FAFSAs as soon as possible after October 1, 2019.

For more information about the MAP priority deadline date, see the FAQs on ISAC's home page.

Text message:

If you are an Illinois student receiving a MAP grant for the 2019-20 academic year, be sure to file your 2020-21 FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1, 2019 but definitely before December 1, 2019 for priority access to a MAP grant for the 2020-21 academic year. Need more info? See FAQs at: https://bit.ly/2kQT10R.

Facebook post:

Illinois college students who receive a MAP grant for the 2019-20 academic year, and maintain their eligibility for 2020-21, should file their 2020-21 FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1, 2019 but before the December 1, 2019 priority deadline date. Questions? Check out FAQs here: https://bit.ly/2kQT10R.

Changes to Required School-Issued Award Letter Language

Colleges are required to announce MAP grant awards to all eligible students enrolled at their institutions, including students who are only eligible for a second semester/second and third quarter MAP award. The awards must be clearly identified on the award notification as: State of IL MAP Grant (Est).

Colleges are also required to include specific information with the award notification. What follows is the required language for 2020-21 MAP award announcements, revised to include the elimination of the 75 MAP Paid Credit Hours (MPCH) cap, which takes effect on January 1, 2020, as well as other minor changes.

School Issued Award Letter Language for 2020-21

By applying for financial aid and agreeing to share that information with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) you have been considered for the State of Illinois (IL) Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant. All MAP-approved institutions are required by the State of Illinois to announce MAP Grant awards to students who are enrolled or intending to enroll at their institution. An award amount is included in your financial aid package if you have met the eligibility criteria.

The MAP Grant award amount is an estimate made by the financial aid office and is identified as a "State of IL MAP Grant (Est)". Please be aware that the number of available MAP Grants is limited by funding levels approved by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor, and reductions to estimated or actual MAP Grants are possible.

There are also limitations to how long you can continue to receive a MAP Grant. Usage is tracked by the number of credit hours for which you've received MAP benefits and is referred to as MAP Paid Credit Hours (MPCHs). The maximum number of MPCHs that can be received is 135, which is equivalent to approximately four and a half years of full-time enrollment. For your reference, and to learn more about MPCH limitations, you may access a record of your MPCHs through the ISAC Student Portal at https://studentportal.isac.org/MPCH.

You are receiving this message because you registered for ISAC's e-Messaging service through one or more subscription groups for FAAs.

If you have any questions regarding this e-Message, please contact ISAC's School Services Department by calling toll free at 866.247.2172 or sending an e-mail message to isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov.