JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Suspense: 2023-24 MAP Grants

ISAC has suspended the announcement of 2023-24 Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for applicants whose initial 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is received by the Central Processing System (CPS), or whose initial Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is received by ISAC, on or after September 23, 2023. Awards were announced for applications received through September 22, 2023.

MAP awards are made on a first come, first-served basis for eligible students. Even with significantly increased funding for the program, available funding can run out. Eligible students who applied for 2023-24 MAP beginning October 1, 2022, through September 22, 2023 (almost a 12-month period), were offered a MAP award for the 2023-24 academic year. If you are eligible for MAP but your application is received on or after September 23, 2023, you might still have an opportunity to receive a MAP grant for the 2023-24 academic year. You will be notified later if funds become available.

The following information is applicable for periods when MAP award announcements are being suspended:

If you have not yet submitted a FAFSA (or, if you are a qualifying undocumented student, an Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid), we encourage you to do so. The FAFSA determines eligibility for financial aid other than MAP for which you might be eligible, such as federal Pell grants and institutional aid. Also, if MAP funds do become available later, the only way you can be considered for MAP is to have submitted a FAFSA or Alternative Application.

If my application is received on or after the suspense date, is there any possibility I can still get a MAP grant?

If your application is received on or after the suspense date, it is still possible that you could receive a MAP grant, but you should not count on it. Every year there are students who do not use their MAP awards, and those who are eligible for MAP and whose applications are received after but very close to the “suspense date” may have an opportunity to get those awards.

How much notice does ISAC provide before a suspense date?

ISAC must consistently monitor the number of eligible applications against available funding. We also use all the data we have available from current and previous years to estimate how many eligible applicants will attend school and claim their MAP awards. We regularly analyze and forecast application volume to get as close as possible to a point where we are announcing as many awards as possible without exceeding available funding. As a result, we are not able to announce the actual suspense date many days ahead, but we announce as soon as we are able to make that determination. In some past years, demand exceeded funding by so much that the application period for MAP closed after as little as two months. By contrast, the application period for 2023-24 was nearly twelve months, continuing beyond the beginning of the fall term at all or nearly all Illinois institutions.

For more information on the Illinois Monetary Award Program, see the MAP area of the Students & Parents section of our website.

With the increased funding for MAP, why doesn’t every eligible student get offered an award?

With the recent increases in state funding for MAP, the good news is that ISAC has been able serve more students, as well as increase the size of awards to help better address tuition costs and make awards more meaningful for students. Since FY18, the maximum MAP award has increased 72%, an increase that can go a long way in helping students pay for college.

The increase in award size means that the maximum MAP award now covers about 50% of tuition and fees at an Illinois public university, and about 60% of tuition and fees at an Illinois community college.

The other positive news is that more low-income students appear to be attending college in 2023-24, and enrollment overall is improving.

There is still the reality, however, that while MAP funding has increased by about 75% in recent years, it is not unlimited. With limited funding, ISAC must balance the number of students served with award amounts that will be meaningful enough to help ensure that low-income students will be able to attend school.

We expect that the vast majority of MAP-eligible students will be offered an award for the 2023-24 school year. If you have not yet completed a FAFSA (or if eligible, an Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid) for the 2023-24 school year, we encourage you to do so immediately. Some students who apply after the suspense date still might receive a MAP award later in the school year. Moreover, completing a FAFSA is necessary to determine eligibility for federal student aid like Pell grants, and for some institutional aid.