JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Application Procedures for MAP

{ISAC Rules, Section 2735.30}

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)
Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)

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.

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.

Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid

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 – is available for the 2020-21 academic year. For these students, references to the FAFSA also apply to the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid throughout the remainder of RISE Act page.

Beginning March 10, 2020, the first phase of the corrections process for the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid began. Applicants are able to correct previously-submitted application data online to correct errors that were made in the initial application submission.

Corrections are submitted by the student through the “Returning Applicants Login” on the application home screen. To access their online application, students need their ISAC Student Profile user name and password. Corrections may be made as needed to as many application fields as necessary. To complete and submit the corrected application, the application must be electronically signed with the previously-provided PIN(s). Depending on the information changed, either the student alone or both the student and their parent (of dependent students) will need to sign the application after making the revision(s).

  • Correction to student information – student must electronically sign
  • Correction to parent information – student and parent must electronically sign
  • Corrections to both student and parent information – both must electronically sign

If financial aid office staff at the college become aware of a needed correction to the application information, the student must be contacted and advised to submit the necessary correction through the above-described 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.

With the implementation of the corrections process, the Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout has been updated. The specifications are available from the Alternative Application Student Record School File Layout section of the MAP Electronic Processing page and in the Electronic Tools area of the e-Library.