JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Suspense: 2020-21 MAP Grants

Questions about how MAP is distributed and about Suspense? Watch our short video to learn the basics.

ISAC has suspended the announcement of 2020-21 MAP grants as follows:

  • for all students whose initial 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is received by the federal processor, or whose initial Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is received by ISAC, on or after July 1, 2020 (the “suspense date”).

MAP awards are made on a first come, first-served basis for eligible students, and available funding runs out quickly for the program. This year, if your application (FAFSA or Alternative Application) is received on or after October 1 but before the applicable suspense date (as outlined above) and you are eligible for MAP, you should expect to receive an estimated MAP award. If you are eligible for MAP but your application is received on or after the applicable suspense date, you might still have an opportunity to receive a MAP grant, and you would be notified later if funds become available.

For quick reference, see the chart, below:

2020-21 MAP APPLICANT AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT STATUS CHART

Type of Applicant Initial FAFSA® Receipt Date Award Announcement Suspended
Standard October 1, 2019 through
June 30, 2020
Full Year No
July 1, 2020 and after Suspended Yes

If you have not yet filled out a FAFSA (or, if applicable, an Alternative Application), 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 filed 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.

Why don’t students get more notice of the suspense date?

Because we need to start processing MAP application information long before we know how much funding we will receive, we use information from the previous year to determine when to suspend announcements of MAP awards. We regularly monitor, analyze and forecast application volume in order to get as close as possible to a point where we are announcing as many awards as possible without exceeding expected 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. ISAC however, regularly communicates with our college and high school partners and urges them to encourage their students to file their applications as soon as possible. We have also shared that message with students and parents we work with directly through our own outreach, as well as through opinion pieces submitted to news outlets around the state.

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