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2017-18 MTI Scholarship Program Online Certification Now Available at My Zone


Unless otherwise noted, links in this message may be accessed via the Financial Aid Administrators area at ISAC's website (

The Teacher Education Scholarship Programs (TESP) component of My Zone that allows colleges to complete students' initial certifications online is now available for the 2017-18 academic year [currently included are certification records for the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program*]. Online certification expedites the process by eliminating the need for colleges to complete and mail paper documents, which allows the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to receive information in a more timely manner and to provide results shortly after submission (rather than the following day).

The TESP online certification functionality at My Zone is available each Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. (CT).

* Colleges will be notified separately when 2017-18 initial certifications are available at My Zone for the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program. In the meantime, an overview of the certification process for Golden Apple Scholars is available within the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.

Continue Completing Initial Certifications Throughout the Year

Colleges are encouraged to check for initial certifications at My Zone on a daily basis. Separate notification will not be sent when new records are made available.

Remember that all initial certifications available in My Zone must be completed, regardless of whether the college certifies a student as eligible or ineligible and regardless of whether the student is currently enrolled. The only way applicants will receive notification from ISAC regarding their eligibility status is if their colleges have submitted the certifications via My Zone. Be sure to continue completing and submitting initial certifications throughout the year, in order to ensure that your students will be included in any rounds of awarding that take place. The schedule for awarding any 2017-18 MTI Scholars will be dependent upon the status of the fiscal year 2018 (FY18) state budget.

Online Resources

Further information about the MTI Scholarship Program's online certification process, including instructions regarding the entry and submission of certifications and how to access reports, is available at the Teacher Education Scholarship Programs (TESP) Certification section of My Zone.

Access to My Zone

If there has been a change in staff working with TESP, the My Zone Administrator for your campus should update access to TESP so the appropriate staff will be able to view data online.

Note Regarding State Budget Status

As you are aware, the FY17 state budget that funds the financial aid programs administered by ISAC – including the MTI Scholarship Program – has not yet been finalized by the Illinois General Assembly and the governor. No MTI Scholars have yet been named for the 2016-17 academic year because, due to the structure of the program, ISAC is unable to announce MTI awards without a final state budget in place to determine the total dollars appropriated for the program.

Despite the fact that the FY17 budget has not yet been enacted, discussions and planning are currently underway regarding the FY18 state budget. Numerous proposals will be considered before the FY18 budget is finalized, and – particularly with FY17 still unresolved – it is unknown what direction the negotiations may take and how funding for ISAC programs may be impacted. As is our practice, however, we will move forward as necessary with internal planning for the administration of our programs in the 2017-18 academic year and, when appropriate, with operational activities such as the implementation of online certification for the MTI Scholarship Program.

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