Application Procedures for MAP
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the application for the MAP Grant. Each student who reports Illinois as his/her state of legal residence automatically applies for MAP when completing the FAFSA annually. The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after October 1 prior to the academic year that starts on or after July 1. 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.
In some instances, Illinois students who are not eligible for federal financial aid [and do not file FAFSA®] may apply for a MAP grant using the online Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid. More information is available at the RISE Act page of this website. The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid – which is patterned after the FAFSA – will be available on January 6, 2020 for the 2020-21 academic year for students who meet the definition of “Illinois resident” as it applies to the RISE Act. For these students, references to the FAFSA also apply to the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid throughout the remainder of Rise Act page.
The Central Processing System (CPS), on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), uses the FAFSA data to determine the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by using the Federal Methodology formula. The student's family financial information (the FAFSA data) is made available to ISAC to calculate MAP eligibility. MAP award calculations will be done only for those Illinois students who list a MAP eligible school as one of their ten school choices on FAFSA on the Web or the four school choices on the paper FAFSA.
After completing a FAFSA (electronic or paper), students will receive an official output document called a Student Aid Report (SAR). An e-mail Notification of Processing is sent to the applicant within 1-3 days of processing with a link to access and print an electronic SAR (e-SAR), if the student provides an e-mail address. A SAR Acknowledgement is mailed to the applicant if the FAFSA is filed via FAFSA on the Web but an e-mail address is not provided. The schools that are listed by the student on the FAFSA receive the same data electronically via an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). Corrections to data must be made by the school via the electronic ISIR, or by the student on the SAR and mailed back to the CPS or electronically via FAFSA on the Web. Corrected applicant information is forwarded from the CPS to ISAC. ISAC maintains the student's most recent data in its system.