JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Monetary Award Program (MAP)

Program News

(last updated March 26, 2020)

2020-21 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Corrections Process Open
Access to the GAP Access Portal
Removal of 75-Hour MAP Paid Credit Hour Limit - January 1, 2020
2020-21 MAP Start-up
2020-21 MAP Award Announcements
2020-21 MAP File Specifications
2020-21 Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout
2019-20 Program Funding
2019-20 Payment
Second Limited Release of 2019-20 MAP Awards in Suspense
Additional MAP References

Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Corrections Process Open

The first phase of the corrections process for the 2020-21 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, (the application used by students who meet the “undocumented student” criteria of the RISE Act), to apply for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) is now available. Applicants are now able to correct previously-submitted application data online to correct errors that were made in the initial application submission. Refer to the March 10 e-Message or the Application Procedures for MAP page for details about 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.

Access to the GAP Access Portal

As was shared in a December 18 e-Message, a two-factor authentication process is being implemented to improve security for accessing the Gift Assistance Programs on the GAP Access portal. The new process will require the use of a one-time verification code, obtained through an application, in conjunction with a user ID and password, when logging in to the portal.

Two-factor authentication will be required for both School User and Administrator accounts every time a user logs in, and replaces the previous use of challenge questions and answers, which will be discontinued at the time setup for the new authentication process is completed. Implementation will occur in phases. Colleges will be notified when implementation will take place. Until notification is received and implementation is complete, continue to use the two-step authentication process. User guides for each process can be found in the GAP Access User Guides section of the GAP Access page.


MAP Start-Up Formula

2020-21 Monetary Award Program (MAP) data – reflecting the start-up formula that was approved at the September 12, 2019 Commission meeting – is now available to access via the MAP system. All 2020-21 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) received by ISAC through (including) Monday, October 7, 2019 are available with their accompanying eligibility status information. Processing of 2020-21 ISIR and eligibility status information will continue per the usual daily schedule. Refer to the October 8 e-Message for additional information.

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.

Award Announcments

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

As announced in a December 4 e-Message, an Alternative Application Student Record is created 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.

With the implementation of the corrections process, the Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout Specifications was updated. 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 Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout is available on the Electronic Tools page and on the MAP Electronic Processing page.


Program Funding

The 2020 fiscal year (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020) appropriation for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) is $451,341,900.

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.


ISAC released additional MAP Grants from suspense status on March 24, 2020 with results available in the MAP system on March 25, 2020. As announced in March 26 e-Message, late claims are being paid for all terms. Payment results for first- and second-term claims that were being held as late are available for colleges to access in the 2019-20 MAP system. Future results for claims submitted through June 1 will appear in the MAP system per the standard processing schedule.  2019-20 MAP claims submitted after June 1 will be held as late, and paid only if available funds remain after payment has been made for all claims submitted by the June 1 deadline.

Payment claims can be submitted via the MAP system and by File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Visit the 2019-20 MAP Payment and MAP Electronic Processing pages located within this section, for more information regarding the claims process. Details regarding the MAP payment process can be found on the 2019-20 MAP Payment pages and in the Payment chapter of the MAP user guide found on the and the MAP Electronic Processing page. In addition, the 2019-20 MAP Applicant Award Status Chart – which has been updated to reflect the second limited release of suspense – may be a helpful resource.

Second Limited Release of 2019-20 MAP Awards in Suspense

As announced in a March 24 e-Message, based on analysis of application volume and claim rates, ISAC is releasing additional 2019-20 MAP grants from suspense status for students whose FAFSA receipt dates were May 27, 2019 through (and including) June 26, 2019. These released records will be available for payment and may be viewed in the MAP system starting March 25, 2019. All MAP grants for eligible students with initial FAFSA receipt dates on or after June 27, 2019 remain in suspense status.

In order to implement and test the latest limited release of records in suspense status, the MAP system will be temporarily unavailable on Wednesday morning (March 25). Testing is anticipated to be completed and the system available to colleges by mid-morning on Wednesday, after which time it will remain available per its standard schedule [i.e., each day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (CT)].

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 2019-20 MAP Applicant Award Status Chart provides an overview of categories for students based on the initial application (FAFSA) receipt date.

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