MAP Award Announcements
Students who apply for financial aid on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and agree to share the information with ISAC are considered for a Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant. The announcement process begins with the college sending an award notification to eligible students indicating a calculated annual award amount. The inclusion of MAP Grant awards in financial aid packages is critical information for students to make informed enrollment decisions. Potentially eligible students are Illinois residents with an EFC under 9000 who indicated a MAP-approved school as one of their school choices on the FAFSA.
In order to ensure that all MAP students receive the same information about their award in a consistent manner, ISAC requires schools to announce MAP awards to the students enrolled at their institution - including the estimated amount of the award. Refer to the School Requirements section for details.
Links to various forms and notifications are available from the right-hand menu.
ISAC provides the specific language that is required to be included on or with the school issued award notification at the beginning of each processing cycle. Schools are required to announce MAP awards to the students enrolled at their institutions, including students who are only eligible for a 2nd semester/2nd and 3rd quarter MAP award. Schools are required to clearly identify the estimated awards on the award notification as: State of IL MAP Grant (Est).
Additional information may be communicated about MAP in the award notification as long as ISAC’s required language is included as written and the additional language does not conflict with it. For example, schools may want to provide students with the link to the MAP Rights & Responsibilities form, which includes pertinent student consumer information, or direct them to the MAP section in the Students & Parents area of ISAC's website.
Schools are also required to notify applicants of changes in their eligibility status. Reasons for changes in eligibility status include student who:
- are not eligible due to a zero award;
- have an incomplete record;
- have a loan in default; or
- are considered late applicants; or
The specific language required to be included on or with the school issued award notification may differ depending on the academic year. 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.
Students eligible for MAP as a result of lifting the 75 hour limit (effective January 1, 2020 as the result of the RISE Act), and whose financial aid awards are repackaged, must be informed of the change in their eligibility status by the college, including the estimated award amount. The ISAC-provided 2019-20 required school issued award letter language is to be utilized for this notification, however, the approved language is not being revised mid-year as a result of the removal of the limit, and should be used as originally provided for the 2019-20 award year. All other requirements regarding use of the approved language (see section above) remain the same.
Additionally, ISAC is not providing suggested language for informing students of the reason for the change in eligibility status; colleges may use language of their choosing. Information about the removal of the 75-hour MAP paid credit hours limit is available for students' reference on both the RISE Act and MAP (Students & Parents) pages.
Refer to the Tracking MAP Usage page to learn how to identify students who will be impacted by the removal of the limit.
ISAC will send a notification only to students who are in a default status on an ISAC-guaranteed student loan. In an effort to assist students reach their goal of completing their degree or certification, a copy of the Default Resolution Options document outlining how to regain federal and state student aid eligibility, is enclosed with each notification. Links to the Default Status notification, by academic year, are in the right menu.
Default Status notifications are sent to students:
- who reside in Illinois,
- indicate a MAP-participating school on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),
- whose FAFSA data passes the federal Social Security Number (SSN) match; and
- are in a default status on an ISAC-guaranteed student loan
Applicants are instructed to call an ISAC Call Center Representative (800.899.4722) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding the default status and how it can be resolved, including reinstatement of federal and state aid eligibility.