JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Verification for MAP: FAFSA Data

{ISAC Rules, Section 2700.50}

ED's DCL GEN-21-05, and Impact on 2021-22 Verification Process for ISAC's Programs
Overview
Eligibility Adjustments
Payment

ED's DCL GEN-21-05, and Impact on 2021-22 Verification Process for ISAC's Programs

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) GEN-21-05 on July 13, 2021, announcing changes made to the verification process for the 2021-22 award year to provide relief to students challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce barriers to enrollment. For the remainder of the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) processing and verification cycle, ED is waiving verification requirements for most FAFSA information, except for the identity/statement of educational purpose and high school completion status under verification tracking groups V-4 and V-5.

Consistent with ED's action, and effective July 13, 2021, ISAC is not requiring colleges to complete federal verification for students receiving ISAC program benefits for the 2021-22 award year, and advises schools to follow ED guidance in regard to when verification must be completed. However, colleges are still required to confirm Illinois residency for all students receiving ISAC program benefits for which Illinois residency is a requirement. Further details are provided in a July 16, 2021 e-Message.

Overview

The college or university’s is responsible to ensure that the FAFSA data is accurate for all MAP recipients and that there is no conflicting information. If a student is selected for verification for federal student assistance, that student must also be verified for MAP. A selected student must be verified for MAP even if the student is ineligible for federal student assistance.

Eligibility Adjustments

When an institution adjusts an applicant's eligibility pursuant to Title IV, Part F, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 USC 1087kk et seq.), the institution shall retain documentation that demonstrates the appropriateness of the adjustment.

Payment

A school may request first term payment even though verification is not yet complete. If, after verification, a MAP payment adjustment is appropriate, the school must submit the appropriate refund. If verification is not completed within 60 days after the conclusion of the regular school year, the school must return the first term payment to ISAC. For periods other than the first term of eligibility in an academic year, the verification process must be completed before the school may request payment.