The number of grants made through this program, as well as the individual dollar amount awarded, are subject to sufficient annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor.
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How to Apply
Filing Deadline Dates
How Funds Are Disbursed
The Monetary Award Program (MAP) provides grants, which do not need to be repaid, to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need, based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You are not required to submit high school grades or test scores when applying for a MAP grant.
To be eligible, you must:
- be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- be an Illinois resident (If you are a dependent, your parent whose information is used on the FAFSA must be an Illinois resident)
- demonstrate financial need
- be enrolled a minimum of 3 hours per term at an approved Illinois college, in a degree or certificate program
- maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by your college
- not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant. If you are in default, you may re-establish your MAP eligibility by:
- repaying the debt in full;
- making satisfactory payment arrangements with the holder of the loan(s);
- rehabilitation of the defaulted loan(s); or
- making payments on the defaulted loan(s) to make it eligible for consolidation.
- not have received a bachelor's degree
- not have used the equivalent of 135 MAP Paid Credit Hours* or more (MAP Paid Credit Hours usage is determined by your enrollment status each term)
- comply with federal Selective Service registration requirements
- not be incarcerated.
*Tracking Eligibility: Prior to the 2004-05 academic year, each time students received a MAP grant they were assessed eligibility units according to enrollment status (full time, half time, less than half time). Currently, eligibility for a MAP grant is tracked by the equivalent number of semester credit hours of MAP benefits paid on your behalf. This is called MAP Paid Credit Hours. A conversion chart is available to show how eligibility units accumulated in past terms have been converted to MAP Paid Credit Hours. If you are attending a quarter school, your quarter credit hours will be converted to semester MAP Paid Credit Hours. Please contact your financial aid advisor if you have questions regarding the quarter school conversion.
It is important for you to know the following:
- Limit for Each Term: Payment for each term is being made according to the equivalent number of credit hours eligible for MAP payment, with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 15 MAP Paid Credit Hours. If you are enrolled for the equivalent of 15 or more credit hours, the number of MAP Paid Credit Hours assessed to you will be 15. If you enroll for a different number of credit hours during the various terms of the same academic year, your actual MAP award may be different for each of those terms.
- Limit for Freshman and Sophomore Students: There is a limit on the number of MAP Paid Credit Hours that can be paid while you are classified by your school as a freshman or sophomore. This limit is the equivalent of 75 MAP Paid Credit Hours. If this maximum is reached, you must attain junior status at whichever school you are (or will be) attending for your MAP grant eligibility to resume.
- Total Limit: The maximum number of MAP Paid Credit Hours is capped at the equivalent of 135. Once you have filed your FAFSA and if you meet general eligibility criteria for a MAP grant, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you by ISAC. This letter will show the total number of MAP Paid Credit Hours you have used for any and all MAP payments made on your behalf.
How to Apply
To apply, you must complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, prior to the academic year that starts on or after July 1. Your eligibility for the MAP grant will be automatically determined if the approved Illinois college at which you plan to use the award is listed on your FAFSA.
Verification of eligibility, and announcement of an estimated award amount (if any), is performed by the college. Only if you are eligible will an estimated MAP grant appear on a financial aid award letter from your college. If you are a MAP recipient, refer to the Monetary Award Program (MAP) Rights and Responsibilities document for more detailed information regarding the program.
Filing Deadline Dates
In order to be considered for a full-year MAP grant, the federal processor must receive each academic year's initial FAFSA as indicated:
- For first-time applicants, defined as students who did not apply for a MAP grant by filing a FAFSA during the previous academic year, the federal processor must receive the initial FAFSA on or before September 30th (for example, on or before September 30, 2008 for the 2008-09 academic year).
- For continuing applicants, defined as students who did apply for a MAP grant by filing a FAFSA during the previous academic year, the federal processor must receive the initial FAFSA on or before August 15th (for example, on or before August 15, 2008 for the 2008-09 academic year).
Initial applications received after these dates will be considered only for second semester (or second and third quarter) awards.
Please be aware that, in any academic year, grant funding could be depleted prior to these dates. When this occurs, ISAC will announce a suspension date. Award announcements for applications received after the suspension date will be placed in suspension status. Students for whom MAP award announcements are in suspension status will not receive MAP grant money.
How Funds Are Disbursed
ISAC works with the college to disburse funds for this program. The college certifies student eligibility and then submits a payment request on behalf of the student. It may take up to eight weeks after the date that ISAC processes the payment request before funds are received at the college.
Depending on the college, students may be responsible for payment until program funds are received. Qualified applicants who are awaiting receipt of funds from this program should contact the Financial Aid Office or Business Office to determine the college's policy.
Note that ISAC routinely updates this section as new information becomes available. Be sure to check back periodically for the current processing status.
For the 2008-09 Academic Year (last updated on July 28, 2008):
Suspension: Due to limited funding and a high volume of eligible applicants, ISAC has suspended the announcement of 2008-09 MAP grants to all students whose initial 2008-09 FAFSA is received by the federal processor on or after July 26, 2008. FAFSAs received at the federal processor on or after July 26th will be placed in a hold status and will not be released for MAP award processing unless additional funding becomes available from unclaimed awards. Students otherwise eligible for MAP, but whose award announcements are in suspension status, will not receive MAP grant money.
Should additional 2008-09 funding become available and only if you are eligible will an estimated MAP grant appear on a financial aid award letter from the Illinois MAP-approved college listed on your FAFSA. The award letter from the college at which you plan to use the award will be your only notification as to whether you will be receiving a MAP grant for 2008-09.
If you are enrolled for the 2008-08 academic year and have not yet submitted a FAFSA, you are still encouraged to do so as soon as possible at FAFSA on the Web. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for other forms of federal and state financial assistance. The suspension of 2008-09 MAP award announcements does not impact any other financial aid programs.
Not Impacted by Suspension: If your initial 2008-09 FAFSA was received by the federal processor on or before July 25, 2008 and you meet general eligibility criteria for a MAP grant, an acknowledgement letter is sent to you by ISAC. This letter shows the total number of MAP Paid Credit Hours you have used for all MAP payments made on your behalf. An explanation of MAP Paid Credit Hours is provided above under Tracking Eligibility.
If you are eligible, an estimated 2008-09 MAP grant appears on a financial aid award letter from your college. Remember that, in order to be considered for a full-year award, your initial FAFSA must be received at the federal processor on or before the filing deadline dates.
The Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants can be applied only toward tuition and mandatory fees. MAP grants cannot be used for items such as books, travel or housing. All MAP awards will be paid directly to your college. Your college certifies that you are enrolled and that you meet all other eligibility requirements. You may be required to provide proof of Illinois residency.
The actual amount of your award each term depends on the calculation of financial need, the cost of tuition and mandatory fees at your college of choice, the number of hours for which you are enrolled, and other factors related to the amount of funding provided for the program each year. Each academic year, the amount of your maximum annual award will be the least of (1) the eligible amount as determined by an analysis of financial circumstances, (2) the maximum amount which ISAC allows for tuition and fees at the college, or (3) $4,968**. The total amount of MAP assistance awarded to you in a given academic year, when added to the other financial aid available to you for that year, cannot exceed the cost of attendance at your college.
Use the State & Federal Aid Estimator to estimate the amount of your MAP award. Depending on actual hours enrolled, it is possible that you will receive a different MAP amount during each term of an academic year (for example, if you enroll for 15 hours during the fall term, but 12 hours during the spring term, your spring term award will be less).
Using MAP with Other Tuition/Fee Benefits
If you are eligible for the MAP grant and you are also eligible for any other ISAC-administered program(s) that are designated for tuition and fees [including Grant Program for Dependents of Police or Fire Officers, Grant Program for Dependents of Correctional Officers, Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW), Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and/or Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant benefits], all other benefits that are available for the term(s) must be used first. You cannot decline tuition and fee benefits from other ISAC-administered programs in favor of using MAP benefits.
After all other applicable benefits have been used for the
term(s), then a partial MAP award may be applied to any outstanding eligible tuition and fees.
**Note: The maximum award level is dependent on legislative action and available funding in any given year. MAP funding is adjusted annually. Your announced grant could increase or decrease throughout the academic year.
Click here to access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).