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2016-17 Annual Financial Aid Certification Program

Financial Aid Training Brought to You by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission

To assist you in helping your students with the FAFSA and staying current on the financial aid process and programs, ISAC offers comprehensive professional development opportunities for counselors, mentors, and community partners through an annual certification series of training modules. Workshops give professionals a detailed understanding of the financial aid process and its programs through the use of case study scenarios and real-life examples.

ISAC’s Annual Financial Aid Certification program is part of the National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM). NT4CM is a free train-the-trainer program to support counselors and mentors who assist students and their families in preparing financially for college. In Illinois, ISAC is the designated provider of the NT4CM training and has been since the inception of the program.

Session participants who successfully pass each knowledge assessment receive an official certificate of completion from ISAC via e-mail. ISAC also awards CEs and CPDUs to session participants at a rate of one per contact hour. To earn these units and/or credits, it is necessary to attend each session in its entirety and complete one session-specific Knowledge Assessment, an ISAC and ISBE Evaluation Form, and an ISBE Evidence of Completion at the end of each session.

Plan to participate in one or several of these opportunities brought to a location near your home or office by ISAC’s Division for College Access and Outreach. All sessions are offered at no cost to counselors, mentors, and members of the general public.

Sessions will be offered in August, September, October, November and December.

Online registration is now available at

FAFSA:A Scenario-Based Review


8:00-8:30AM: Registration Check-In

8:30AM-12:00PM: Presentation

In this session, participants will learn about current financial aid concepts, tools, and resources at the state and federal level through an update from ISAC and the Department of Education. Attendees will also learn about the most challenging areas of the FAFSA: federal and state aid eligibility, dependency, parental information, and financial information in an interactive, group discussion setting through the use of scenarios and real-life examples. By analyzing and discussing case study scenarios, participants will have the opportunity to work with other professionals in the field to understand the common issues and misconceptions that arise when assisting students in navigating the financial aid process.

What's Next After the FAFSA

October- December

8:00-8:30AM: Registration Check-In

8:30AM-12:00PM: Presentation

In this session, participants will learn about the next steps to follow after the FAFSA has been filed. Attendees will learn about professional judgment, verification, and award letters. Attendees will also receive real sample award letters to examine in small groups. The information provided will serve as a starting point for professionals to guide students on a case-by-case basis, as each situation is ultimately unique and will require different approaches.

Register Now

Note: Registration is required to participate in a training session in order to ensure we have adequate space and materials for participants, as well as having your contact information in the event a session must be cancelled or rescheduled due to weather or other circumstances.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please contact Sara Espinosa at