JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Monetary Award Program (MAP)

Program News

(last updated August 10, 2020)

MAP Advising Data
2020-21 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Corrections Process Open
Removal of 75-Hour MAP Paid Credit Hour Limit – January 1, 2020
2020-21 Program Funding
Suspension of 2020-21 MAP Award Announcements
2020-21 MAP Recompute
2020-21 MAP Award Announcements
2020-21 MAP File Specifications
2020-21 Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout
Adjustments to MPCH
Additional MAP References

MAP Advising Data

Each year, institutions must submit to ISAC information about their Monetary Award Program (MAP) recipients. The 2020 collection period for MAP Advising data has opened and colleges may submit the required information through the Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal. There have been no changes from past years to the submission process. MAP Advising data is due August 7, 2020. Refer to the June 3 e-Message for tips for submitting MAP Advising Data and for links to additional information on the MAP Advising Support Programs Search Tool page and the MAP Advising Data User Guide.

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.

Removal of 75-Hour MAP Paid Credit Hour Limit – January 1, 2020

The 75-hour MAP paid credit hours (MPCH) limit for freshman and sophomore students will be removed as one of the provisions in the RISE Act, which is effective January 1, 2020. Because the change takes effect in the middle of the 2019-20 academic year, some students who were not MAP-eligible in the fall term may be eligible for spring term awards. Further details are provided in a November 19 e-Message.


Program Funding

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

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 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.

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.

Beginning with the 2020-21 academic year – 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 2020-21 priority deadline date for returning applicants is on or before December 1, 2019.

Refer to the MAP Award Announcements page for details regarding college requirements, as well as a sample of the 2020-21 Required School-Issued Award Notification Language and ISAC-generated notifications.

MAP File Specifications

The MAP file specifications have been updated for the 2020-21 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 2020-21 MAP 160-Byte File Specifications are available from the Electronic Tools page within the e-Library

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. 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. The next phase of the corrections process allows dependent students to complete and submit their application without parental information. These records will be 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

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.

Adjustments to MPCH

Adjustments to MPCH can now be made through the MAP system for students whose spring 2020 enrollment status was impacted by COVID-19. For further guidance, refer to the June 17 e-Message, the MAP Paid Credit Hours Adjustments Due to COVID-19 page and the Guidance for MPCH adjustments document.

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.

Creating a Report for the Release of Shutdown Records