Students preparing for the 2023-24 academic year must submit their 2023-24 FAFSA or Alternative Application on or before December 1, 2022 in order to receive priority access to 2023-24 MAP funds.
To receive a MAP grant, a student must: be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen or meet the “undocumented student” criteria of the RISE Act; be a resident of Illinois (if the applicant is a dependent, the parent whose information is used on the FAFSA must be an Illinois resident).
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the application for the MAP grant. Each student who reports Illinois as their state of legal residence automatically applies for MAP when completing the FAFSA annually.
As part of the Pritzker administration’s hallmark commitment to make college more affordable for students in Illinois, Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly added $122 million in funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) for Fiscal Year 2023, bringing the total funding for this state grant for low-income college students to a historic high of approximately $601 million.
Each year the Commissioners on the Board of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission approves a framework for distributing MAP grants to eligible students, taking into account the amount of funding available and college tuition and fee costs, balancing meaningful grant size with the goal of serving more students. In FY22, the program was able to offer grants to essentially every eligible student who applied through the end of the academic year—effectively leaving no one on a waiting list for the first time in 20 years. With the new MAP eligibility formula approved by ISAC’s Board, it is estimated the additional funding for FY23 will allow ISAC to provide grants to virtually every eligible student, while significantly increasing grant size.
As a result of two decades of limited funding, MAP grants have not kept up with tuition and fee growth. With the additional $122 million, ISAC’s Commissioners approved a framework that will increase the average MAP grant by about 30 percent. These improvements will result in increased purchasing power for MAP—a key component of “A Thriving Illinois,” the state’s new strategic plan for higher education. The strategic plan set a goal for MAP to cover 50% of tuition and fees for recipients attending public institutions within the next 10 years. The MAP eligibility formula recently approved by ISAC, with the support of the additional funding, goes a long way to moving the state towards that goal, and exceeds the goal for community colleges.
Fill your FAFSA form out as soon as possible on or after at the official government site, fafsa.gov.
For tips on filling out the form, check www.studentaid.gov/articles/things-you-need-for-fafsa.