JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Monetary Award Program (MAP)

Program News

(last updated March 16, 2021)

2021-22 MAP Start-Up
2021-22 MAP Award Announcements
2021-22 MAP File Specifications
2021-22 FAFSA & Alternative Application Available on October 1
2021-22 Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout
2021-22 Operational Guide for Alternative Application Processing
2020-21 Program Funding
Second Limited Release of 2020-21 MAP Awards in Suspense
Suspension of 2020-21 MAP Award Announcements
2020-21 MAP Payment
2020-21 MAP Recompute
2020-21 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Corrections Process Open
2020-21 Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout
2020-21 Operational Guide for Alternative Application Processing
Additional MAP References

2021-22

MAP Start-Up

The 2021-22 Monetary Award Program (MAP) data – reflecting the start-up formula that was approved at the September 17, 2020 Commission meeting – is now available to access via the MAP system. All 2021-22 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) and Alternative Application Student Records received by ISAC through (including) Wednesday, October 7, 2020 are available with their accompanying eligibility status information. Processing of 2021-22 ISIRs, Alternative Applications and eligibility status information will continue per the usual daily schedule.

Details of the 2020-21 start-up formula, as well as information regarding calculating a term award for both semester and quarter schools, guidance regarding rounding and the 2020-21 Hand Calculation Forms – Start-up forms are available within this section. Refer to the MAP Electronic Processing page for information about the MAP system with links to the 2020-21 160-byte file specifications and user guides.

Refer to the October 8 e-Message for details about 2021-22 MAP start-up processing or access pages within this section that address each function.

Award Announcements

Colleges are required to announce MAP awards to eligible students enrolled at their institutions. ISAC will mail letters only to students who are in a default status on an ISAC-guaranteed student loan. A copy of the Default Resolution Options document, outlining how to regain federal and state student aid eligibility, is enclosed with each Default Status notification. Notifications are dated and mailed after ISAC processes ISIRs.

Returning MAP recipients (i.e., students who received MAP funds during the prior academic year and continue to meet all eligibility requirements) who submit their FAFSAs by that academic year’s priority deadline date (set by ISAC annually) will receive priority access to appropriated MAP funds. The 2021-22 priority deadline date for returning applicants is on or before December 1, 2020.

Refer to the MAP Award Announcements page for details regarding college requirements, as well as a sample of the 2021-22 Required School-Issued Award Notification Language and ISAC-generated notifications. The 2021-22 MAP required school-issued award notification language was updated to include reference to possible student eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for all MAP-eligible students, as required by P.A. 101-0560.

MAP File Specifications

The MAP file specifications have been updated for the 2021-22 processing cycle. The 160-byte file layout is pertinent to schools utilizing the file extraction features of the MAP system or for sending payment requests for MAP to ISAC via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). The 2021-22 MAP 160-Byte File Specifications are available from the Electronic Tools page within the e-Library. The 2020-21 MAP file specifications are also available from the Electronic Tools page.

2021-22 FAFSA & Alternative Application Available on October 1

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) cycle, including FAFSA on the Web, will open on October 1, 2020. The Central Processing System (CPS) will begin processing 2021-22 FAFSA data on October 2, 2020. Students must submit the FAFSA each year in order to be considered for all federal financial aid programs and most institutional programs. FAFSA results are also used to determine eligibility for most state programs, including the MAP grant. Details regarding the 2021-22 FAFSA cycle may be accessed via the 2021-22 Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library.

In addition, the 2021-22 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid will also be available (in English and Spanish) after 12 p.m. on October 1, 2020. As a reminder, undocumented students and transgender students meeting the criteria of the Rise Act may file the Alternative Application, which is patterned after the FAFSA, to apply for the MAP grant. Further details are provided September 25 e-Message. The 2021-22 Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout Specifications is available from the Electronic Tools page within the e-Library.

Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout

An Alternative Application Student Record is created for each student who completes an Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, which is patterned after the FAFSA. The application data that is critical to determining eligibility for MAP is provided to schools in the GAP Access portal for each student who has listed that college as a school choice on the student’s Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, which is patterned after the FAFSA.  The 2021-22 Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout Specifications is available from the Electronic Tools page within the e-Library.

Operational Guide for Alternative Application Processing

2021-22 Operational Guide for Alternative Application Processing is available to assist schools with resolving MAP eligibility questions, dealing with conflicting information, correcting data and managing Alternative Application student records in GAP Access, as well as other issues. The Guide provides ISAC's guidance for each issue and the applicable regulatory and/or rules reference.

2020-21

Program Funding

The 2021 fiscal year (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021) appropriation for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) is $451,341,900

Second Limited Release of 2020-21 MAP Awards in Suspense

As announced in a March 15 e-Message, based on analysis of application volume and claim rates, ISAC has released additional 2020-21 MAP award announcements from suspense status for students with initial Central Processing System (CPS) FAFSA receipt dates, or initial ISAC Alternative Application receipt dates, of August 1, 2020 through and including August 22, 2020. These released records are available to view in the MAP system. Announcements of 2020-21 MAP grants remain in suspense status for all eligible students with initial FAFSA or Alternative Application receipt dates on or after August 23, 2020.

Refer to the MAP Suspense page for information on how to identify records in a suspension status or released from suspension in the MAP system. The 2020-21 MAP Applicant Award Status Chart provides an overview of categories for students based on the initial application receipt date. Details regarding the first limited release of 2020-21 MAP awards in suspense status are available in a December 22 e-Message

Suspension of 2020-21 Award Announcements

ISAC is suspending the announcement of 2020-21 MAP grants for all students whose initial 2020-21 FAFSA® was received by the Central Processing System (CPS), or whose initial Alternative Application for Illinois Financial was received by ISAC, on or after Wednesday, July 1, 2020. MAP records in suspension will be available in the MAP system via the GAP Access portal and show on the appropriate screens and reports, as well as in the MAP Eligibility File Extraction on July 2.

Operational information can be found in the June 25 e-Message and on the Suspension of MAP Award Announcement page. Schools will be notified via the e-Messaging system and on this page when suspension of MAP Award Announcements is reflected in the MAP system.

MAP Payment

Following the recently-announced second limited release of 2020-21 MAP award announcements in suspense status, payment requests (claims) for all terms may be submitted and will continue to be paid through the priority claim deadline of May 7, 2021. This includes:

  • late and newly-released claims for the first term;
  • late and newly-released claims for the second term; and
  • claims for the third quarter (or the second semester if the institution's second semester begins after February 15).

In addition, previously-submitted first- and second-term late claims (i.e., claims submitted after March 5) that were being held will now be released for payment. Colleges do not need to resubmit late claims that had been held.

Colleges can submit claims by accessing the MAP system via the GAP Access portal, as well as by File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Claims will be processed on a nightly basis as they are received from colleges, and then submitted to the State Comptroller for payment per standard operating procedures.

Details regarding the MAP payment process can be found on the 2020-21 MAP Payment page and in the Payment chapter of the MAP user guide found on the and the MAP Electronic Processing page.

MAP Recompute Formula

On June 18, 2020, the ISAC Commissioners approved the 2020-21 Recompute MAP eligibility formula continuing the FY21 MAP Startup formula. If determined necessary after first-term claims are received, also approved was to either release some suspended applications to spend as much of the appropriation without exceeding it OR reduce second- and third-term awards to stay within the appropriation.

The approved FY21 recompute formula is outlined in the June 18 Agenda Book (Item 5) in the e-Library and on the 2020-21 MAP Formula page within this section. Also available within the MAP pages is information regarding calculating a term award for both semester and quarter schools, guidance for rounding and information about MAP electronic processing.

Schools will be notified when the recompute formula will be implemented in the 2020-21 MAP component of the GAP Access portal.

Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Corrections Process Open

The next phase of the corrections process for the 2020-21 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid includes an option for a dependent student to complete and submit an application without parental information. The Alternative Application is used by RISE Act-eligible undocumented and transgender students to apply for the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Refer to the April 16 e-Message or the Application Procedures for MAP page for details about the enhancements to the corrections process.

To assist students with making application corrections, a page was added to the online Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid User Guide. The User Guide is accessible from both the application home screen and the Student Profile Login page, and is also available, along with Alternative Application FAQ’s, in the right-hand menu of the RISE Act web page.

Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout

An Alternative Application Student Record is created (December 4 e-Message) for each student who completes an Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, which is patterned after the FAFSA. The application data that is critical to determining eligibility for MAP is provided to schools in the GAP Access portal for each student who has listed that college as a school choice on the student’s Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid.

Similar to how ISIR’s are imported from the U.S Department of Education (ED), complete RISE Act Student Records may be uploaded to colleges’ internal system(s) to identify which students applied for MAP via the FAFSA or the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid. Reports can be extracted from the MAP system in GAP Access by selecting the File Extractions tab, choosing the Alternative Application Student Record option from the Select Report drop down menu, and entering a date range of the records being requested.

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.

Refer to the File Specifications section on the Application Procedures for MAP for details about the enhancements to the correction process. The Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout is available on the Electronic Tools page and on the MAP Electronic Processing page.

Operational Guide for Alternative Application Processing

2020-21 Operational Guide for Alternative Application Processing is available to assist schools with resolving MAP eligibility questions, dealing with conflicting information, correcting data and managing Alternative Application student records in GAP Access, as well as other issues. The Guide provides ISAC's guidance for each issue and the applicable regulatory and/or rules reference.

Additional MAP References

To access general information about the MAP program, click on one of the links in the right-hand menu. To access the page within the MAP section that addresses the topics listed below, click on the topic.

Removal of 75-Hour MAP Paid Credit Hour Limit – January 1, 2020
2020-21 MAP Award Announcements
2020-21 MAP File Specifications
Creating a Report for the Release of Shutdown Records