JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

MAP Electronic Processing

Access the MAP System
Hours of Operation
MAP User Guide
File Specifications 
Helpful Hints

All Monetary Award Program processing will take place through ISAC’s Gift Assistance Program (GAP) Access portal, the Internet application that allows schools to electronically process and manage information for MAP.  The GAP Access internet application will eventually be the point of entry for electronic data and processing functionality for all of ISAC's gift assistance programs.

ISAC imports ISIR data into the MAP system from the Central Processing System (CPS) on a daily basis. Data from students with an Illinois address, who indicated Illinois as their state of legal residence or who indicated an Illinois school choice on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or FAFSA on the Web, is added to the school’s database in the MAP system and can be viewed by the school immediately.

Access the MAP System

Due to the confidential nature of the student-specific data involved, a secure authentication process is required before access to MAP can be granted. All users, not just those who work in the financial aid office, need a valid GAP Access ID and password (for example, users who need access to the FTP site). ISAC will rely on a contact person, or Administrator, at each institution to authorize users at his/her school.  Refer to the GAP Access User Guide for general questions, user name and password maintenance, and technical information about GAP Access. Contact a School Services Representative with questions that are not addressed in the Guide.

The financial aid director is the primary GAP Access Administrator, however, the director may select others to act as GAP Access Administrators. GAP Access Administrators are responsible for monitoring passwords, security and staff access to the MAP system. The financial aid director should select the administrators based on the confidential nature of, and the access to student data.

To access MAP records:

  • sign on to the GAP Access system and select ‘MAP” from the blue ribbon across the top of the screen;
  • select the academic year;
  • select one of the tabs at the top of the MAP screen to access any of the functions; i.e., select the “Student” Tab to access the Student List Eligibility: View)

Hours of Operation

The MAP system will be available each day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (CT).

Payment request records submitted by 7 p.m. will be included in that night's processing with results available the next business day. Records submitted after 7 p.m. will be included with processing for the next business day with results available in the MAP system the following business day. (Example: Records submitted at 6:45 p.m. on a Tuesday would have results reflected in the MAP system on Wednesday morning, while results for records submitted at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday would appear in on Thursday morning.)

MAP User Guide

The MAP User Guide is broken down into smaller PDF chapters by function, which can be viewed online, printed or saved to your computer for future reference. The User Guide provides detailed information about MAP functions, processing routines and MAP processing code definitions.

Student Eligibility

Payment (The MAP Payment Results, Reject Reasons, Late and Disqualify codes and the NSLDS® Default Release override can be found at the end of the Payment chapter.) 

    File Specifications

    MAP File Specifications

    This MAP 160 Byte File Layout Specifications is pertinent to schools utilizing the file extraction features of the MAP system, or sending MAP payment requests to ISAC via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Changes made to the specifications are highlighted in gray.


    • Field 5: College Year is 21 (for the 2020-21 academic year)


    • Field 5: College Year is 20 (for the 2019-20 academic year)

    Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout

    The Alternative Application Student Record can be uploaded to colleges’ internal system(s) to identify which students applied for MAP via the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid. The order of the data in the file layout follows the order in which the questions are asked on the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, and generally follows the order of the questions on the paper version of the 2020-21 FAFSA. The values and the formatting used on the Alternative Application Student Record are the same as those used on the ISIR provided by ED for FAFSA applicants, unless otherwise noted. 

    Creating or uploading Alternative Application Student Record files to colleges’ internal systems is not required. Instead, the relevant student applicant data that is provided in GAP Access may be relied upon to administer MAP for both FAFSA and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid applicants.

    The Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout Specifications were updated with the implementation of the first phase of the correction process as announced in a March 10 e-Message. The specifications reflect the fields/codes that are used when ISAC has initiated and applied a change/correction to a record (ISAC pushed correction). File layout changes that were made are bolded and the date on the most recent version as of February 28, 2020. The next phase of the corrections process allows dependent students to complete and submit their application without parental information. These records are identified with a dependency status of "X" and a special circumstances flag of "1". Fields used in the correction process are included on the Student Record Layout. Refer to the April 14 e-Message for details.

    The MAP File Specifications, FTP process instructions and the Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout is available on the Electronic Tools page in the e-Library. There is also a link to File Specifications in the right menu of this page.

    Helpful Hints

    • The GAP Access portal, including the MAP system, is available each day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (CT).
    • The MAP system via GAP Access works best using Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher.
    • Adjust the screen resolution if needed.
    • For optimum printing of screens, set the printing option to landscape.
    • Enter a date range to reduce the processing time of an extraction file. Entering a date range means fewer records are included, thus reducing the amount of time it will take to processing the file; and
    • Schedule reports to run when MAP is not needed for other functions (for example at the end of the day or during off-peak hours).