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ISAC Update

VOL. 36, NO. 7F
January 2019

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
ISAC Update

Welcome to the January 2019 ISAC Update for financial aid administrators and business officers. This version of the electronic ISAC Update is a compilation of e-Messages sent through ISAC's e-Messaging service throughout January.

The articles in this Update have been organized according to the FAA subscription groups to which the messages were distributed.

Questions?

Questions regarding information in this ISAC Update can be directed to School Services at 866.247.2172 or at isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov. On occasion, you may be directed to a specific contact person or area; when this occurs, we will provide the appropriate information in the individual article or message.


MULTIPLE SUBSCRIPTION GROUPS


ISAC's January 30th Webinar Postponed
Sent to Financial Aid Directors and Financial Aid Administrators on January 29, 2019.

Due to the extreme weather conditions that Illinois will be experiencing over the next two days and the likelihood that many colleges will be closed, we have decided to postpone the ISAC Update webinar that was scheduled for Wednesday, January 30 at 2 p.m. until a later date. The ISAC office expects to be open during its usual business hours.


Education Loan Information Pilot Program
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, and FFELP Administrators on January 25, 2019.

Attention Public Universities and Public Community Colleges

Overview

Effective January 1, 2019, legislation from the Illinois General Assembly (SB 2559) was signed into law as Public Act 100-0926, creating a three-year pilot program aimed at increasing awareness of student debt levels. The Education Loan Information Pilot Program requires public universities and public community colleges to provide students enrolled at their institution, or the students’ parents or guardians, with information about outstanding education loans each year. For purposes of this requirement, “education loans” means any state or federal education loan or other loan that is used primarily to finance a postsecondary education and cost of attendance.

As copied from the law, the information provided is to include:

  • an estimate of the total amount of education loans taken out by the student or the parent or guardian;
  • an estimate of the potential payoff amount of the incurred education loans or a range of the total payoff amount and monthly repayment amounts that a similarly situated student may incur for the amount of loans the student or the parent or guardian has taken out at the time the information is provided, including principal and interest amounts;
  • the percentage of the borrowing limit the student or the parent or guardian has reached at the time the information is provided; and
  • any financial resources available to the student or the parent or guardian.

The legislation also specifies that the notification requirements begin with the 2019-20 academic year. In adhering to this timeline, institutions may determine a schedule that could result in initial notifications occurring as late as the end of that academic year (i.e., May or June of 2020). Notifications must continue each year until the pilot program expires on June 1, 2023, unless it is extended.

ISAC’s Role

As we work to implement the program, we have defined our role in these areas:

  • to provide general guidance to assist institutions in putting the program in place, including a future FAQ document
  • development of administrative rules
  • oversight to ensure compliance
  • development of a template for institutions’ use (expected to be available later this spring)

ISAC does not plan to develop an electronic tool or system component for institutions’ use in fulfilling the requirements. However, we are aware of an available resource through the College Cost Meter from Attigo/Ascendium Education Group (formerly Great Lakes). It is our understanding that many Illinois colleges have been invited to a February 5, 2019 webinar – College Cost Meter®: Introducing a Student Debt Letter for Illinois Schools – which will overview their tool that produces correspondence to meet the requirements. Information and registration are available at the provided link.

It should be noted that ISAC is not endorsing or recommending any available tool or product, rather making you aware of options you may consider to meet your requirements for providing education loan information.

Looking Ahead

During the month of February, we will publish proposed rules amendments for the pilot program, incorporating the notification requirements into the General Provisions (Part 2700) of the agency administrative rules. Publication of the proposed rules amendments will initiate a 45-day public comment period; we will inform you when publication takes place.

As part of the oversight of the program, we are discussing the framework by which future data reporting requirements will be established and implemented, and anticipate making that information available to you at a later date.


Upcoming ISAC Webinars
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, MAP Users, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on January 24, 2019.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will offer the following webinars for financial aid administrators during the first quarter of 2019:

  • January 30 at 2 p.m. – ISAC Update and a Review of Hot Topics from the 2018 Federal Student Aid (FSA) Conference
  • February 27 at 2 p.m. – An Overview of the Monetary Award Program
  • March 27 at 2 p.m. – An Overview of ISAC's Military Programs

To participate in these webinars, visit the Partner Training page in the e-Library at isac.org to access the webinar link and presentation materials, both of which will be posted on the day of the session. Registration is not required for the webinars, and any specific questions you would like a webinar to address may be submitted via e-mail to Kimberly.Eck@illinois.gov prior to the session.


Call for Proposals – 2019 CCE Conference
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, MAP Users, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on January 22, 2019.

CCE Conference Logo

Call for Session Proposals

CCE 2019: Expanding Success for All Students – Every Community’s Responsibility

We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at the ninth annual College Changes Everything® (CCE) Conference – the state’s preeminent annual college access and success and career readiness event. This one-day conference focuses on effective practices and showcases the programs and services available to help with increasing college access and college completion for students in support of the state’s Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025. For our state to reach this goal, stakeholders that make up all aspects of any student’s community must work together to support and provide students with the knowledge and opportunities to be successful along the transitions from education to employment.

Celebrate ISACorps 10th Anniversary

At the conference we will also recognize the tenth anniversary of the Illinois Student Assistance Corps, or ISACorps, our statewide outreach and near-peer mentoring program. As we all know, simply making financial or informational resources available is not enough to truly provide opportunity for our underrepresented students. For the past decade the ISACorps has been helping students from families without college-going experience by providing additional support to navigate the complex process of planning and preparing for postsecondary success. The ISACorps is the largest statewide near-peer mentoring program in the country, annually serving more than 150,000 students and parents in every community in Illinois. ISACorps members are recruited as they graduate from college and make a two-year service commitment to the state. These talented college graduates are as diverse as Illinois and spend their days (and nights, and weekends) helping families understand the education-to-career pipeline and complete the admission and financial aid processes. ISAC is currently recruiting for the 2019-20 ISACorps, with a start date of June 2019. For your reference, a copy of the ISACorps job description can be found online at the ISAC Career Center.

Call for Proposals: Due March 8, 2019 – Please Share Your Knowledge and Expertise

The Conference Planning Committee is making a call for interest session proposals for the 2019 conference. We encourage you to help make this conference a valuable professional development experience by sharing with your colleagues your best practices, perspectives, and knowledge. The online session proposal form is available on the conference website.

As the conference draws a broad group of professionals and stakeholders, we welcome proposals that cover a wide range of topics related to college access and completion and career readiness. Such topics might include, but are not limited to: college and career readiness; student retention, persistence, and completion; programs and services for underrepresented students; educational equity; partnerships; career development experiences; education, business, and the economy; college costs, financial aid, and affordability; and community stakeholder engagement.

Each one-hour session should provide in-depth information, practical ideas, and best practices for the audience and demonstrate positive steps taken and lessons learned. Conference attendees appreciate the opportunity to hear from the students being served by the program(s) and/or service(s) included in a session. To that end, we encourage you to include students in your sessions when possible.

  • Deadline – Priority consideration will be given to completed session proposal forms submitted by Friday, March 8, 2019.
  • Non-Commercial Policy – Please note that sessions are to be non-commercial forums. Individuals should refrain from using brand names or endorsing specific products. Sessions are not to be used as a place for direct promotion of products and services.
  • Conference Registration – Presenters are to register for the conference, and the registration fee is $40.00. Conference registration will open later this spring.
  • Presenter Compensation – The College Changes Everything® Conference does not provide any compensation for individuals accepted to serve as conference interest session presenters. This includes compensation for travel-related expenses and hotel accommodations.

A key strength of the conference is its bringing together a diverse audience from across the state to focus on educational opportunity and student success: college access practitioners; high school leaders, counselors, and case managers; college and university leaders and administrators; employers and workforce development professionals; and policymaker and elected officials interested in higher education and career readiness. The conference also serves as an opportunity for stakeholders to improve their practice of collaboration and collective leadership as we work toward the state’s goal.

The conference will take place at the Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, Illinois.

Please share this information with colleagues in your organization and other partners.


2019 College Changes Everything Conference Planning Committee

  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Illinois Community College Board
  • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Illinois College Access Network
  • Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities
  • Advance Illinois
  • Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University
  • Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University
  • Generations Serving Generations
  • ACT Now
  • Women Employed

The College Changes Everything® Conference is sponsored
by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Helping Illinois reach its Goal 2025: to increase the proportion
of adults in Illinois with high-quality college degrees and
postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025


CCE


Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, MAP Users, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on January 11, 2019.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) would like to make you aware of the following information, which may be of interest to you and/or your students.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at ISAC's website (isac.org).

You may either scroll through the remainder of this message, or click on the appropriate link(s) to go directly to a specific section:

General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)

2018-19 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019)

2019-20 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020)


GENERAL INFORMATION

April 4: Next Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

Specific details, including the meeting time and location and a listing of tentative agenda items, will be available prior to the meeting via the ISAC's Governing Board: The Commission section of the About ISAC area.

Visit the Commission Meeting Schedule page for a listing of all meetings scheduled in 2019.

March 18-20: ILASFAA Annual Conference

Mark your calendar for the 50th Illinois Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (ILASFAA) annual conference, which will take place March 18-20, 2019 at the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. For more information, visit ilasfaa.org to access the conference website.

July 18: 2019 College Changes Everything® Conference

The ninth annual College Changes Everything® Conference will take place on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Further details are provided in a December 13 e-Message.

Holiday Schedules

In observance of the holidays indicated, ISAC offices will be closed on the following dates:

  • Monday, January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    ISAC offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 22.

  • Tuesday, February 12: Lincoln's Birthday
    ISAC offices will reopen on Wednesday, February 13.

  • Monday, February 18: Presidents' Day
    ISAC offices will reopen on Tuesday, February 19.

Processing Schedules

Although ISAC's offices will be closed on the days listed above, the Monetary Award Program (MAP) component of the GAP Access portal will be available during regularly scheduled hours and will reflect records processed by the Central Processing System (CPS) through the last business day immediately preceding each respective holiday. Results for payment requests submitted from 5 p.m. (CT) the business day prior to the holiday through 5 p.m. (CT) the business day following the holiday will be available via the MAP system on the morning of the second business day after the holiday. For example: a MAP payment request submitted at 6 p.m. (CT) on Monday, January 21 will be processed the evening of Tuesday, January 22 – and payment results will be available via the MAP system the morning of Wednesday, January 23.

For Assistance

Access the Financial Aid Administrators area anytime, or send an e-mail message to ISAC's School Services Department. With the exception of days when the ISAC offices are closed, ISAC staff will review and respond to messages during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT).

School Services staff also may be reached toll free at 866.247.2172 during regular business hours.

Note: Effective January 2, 2019, students and parents may reach the ISAC Call Center (Student Services) on weekdays from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT.


2018-19 ACADEMIC YEAR

Limited Release of 2018-19 MAP Announcements in Suspense Status

A December 18 e-Message announced a partial release of MAP grants from suspense status. This limited release will benefit eligible students whose Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) receipt dates were February 28, 2018 through (and including) April 4, 2018. All MAP grants for eligible students with initial FAFSA receipt dates on or after April 5, 2018 remain in a suspense status.

Watch for future updates regarding this program via the standard communication methods (i.e., the FAA Message Board, the MAP Program News section, and ISAC's e-Messaging service).

March 1: Spring Term Application Deadline for 2018-19 ING Grant

Remind your students that March 1, 2019 is the spring- and summer-term award deadline for the 2018-19 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program. Students may access the application via the Applications page (which is located within the Students & ParentsDuring CollegeApplying for Financial Aid area, and may also be obtained via the "Applications" link that appears at the bottom of all pages on the ISAC website). Applications received after March 1 will be considered for summer term only awards.

March 1: Spring Term Application Deadline for 2018-19 Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire, or Correctional Officers

Remind your students that March 1, 2019 is the spring- and summer-term award deadline for the 2018-19 Grant Program for Dependents of Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers. Students may access the application via the Students & ParentsDuring CollegeApplying for Financial Aid area, and may also be obtained via the "Applications" link that appears at the bottom of all pages on the ISAC website). Applications received after March 1 will be considered for summer term only awards.

March 8: 2018-19 MAP First- and Second-term Claims Due

In order to be considered for payment, all 2018-19 MAP first- and second-term claims must be submitted to ISAC no later than Friday, March 8, 2019. Specific details are provided in a January 8 e-Message.

During Month of April: Spring-Term Benefits Used Data Due for 2018-19 ING Grant Program

Spring-term benefits used data for the 2018-19 ING Grant Program is due during the month of April (colleges will be notified once a specific deadline date has been established). Benefit Request records are available in the ING Grant system, allowing colleges to report enrollment hours and benefit dollar amounts for initial, supplemental (adjustments), in-district and out-of-district requests. New data for students eligible for benefits will be available whenever there is a new or updated eligible record for the college. While new data could potentially be available on a daily basis, the college may not have students that appear in the system each day. It is recommended that the college check the ING Grant system at least once a week for new student data that may have been posted for the 2018-19 academic year. Please submit your data as soon as you are able to do so.

Further information, including access to the ING Grant Benefits Usage Processing User Guide, is available via the ING Grant Electronic Processing page of the Financial Aid Administrators – Processes area.

During Month of April: Spring-Term Benefits Used Data Due for 2018-19 IVG Program

Spring-term benefits used data for the 2018-19 Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program is due during the month of April (colleges will be notified once a specific deadline date has been established). Reporting of enrollment hours must take place so that benefit usage (i.e., eligibility units) can be accurately assessed to students' accounts. IVG benefit usage functionality is available in the IVG system, allowing colleges to report 2018-19 enrollment hours and benefit dollar amounts for initial, in-district and out-of-district requests, as well as adjustments to previously-submitted data.

A December 12 e-Message provides details regarding an enhancement to the IVG system that provides colleges with the ability to view a student’s history of IVG benefit usage at all colleges that have reported this data to ISAC.

Remember that, even though the summer term begins the IVG Program processing cycle each year, the IVG system designates the terms as follows: fall is Term 1, spring is Term 2, and summer is Term 3.

Further information, including access to the IVG Program User Guide, is available via the IVG Electronic Processing page of the Financial Aid Administrators – Processes area.

Continue Submitting Certifications and Payment Requests for 2018-19 MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Programs

The Teacher Education Scholarship Programs (TESP) component of My Zone that allows colleges to complete students' initial certifications online for the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois programs remains available for the 2018-19 academic year.

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, in order to ensure that your students will be included in any rounds of awarding that take place. Resources regarding the awarding process – including how to generate a report and filter or sort student eligibility data – may be accessed from within My Zone's TESP Notification area.

When the awarding process is complete, a payment request roster is produced and is available to be completed and submitted. Results for payment requests received will be available via TESP Payment Authorization after vouchers have been generated and the corresponding Voucher Numbers are entered into the My Zone system by ISAC staff. Vouchers are sent via e-mail to financial aid directors. Colleges are encouraged to check My Zone every week for results of previously-submitted payment requests. Further details regarding the payment process for the MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple programs are available in the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.


2019-20 ACADEMIC YEAR

March 1: 2019-20 MTI Scholarship Application Deadline

Remind your students who plan to pursue a career in teaching that March 1, 2019 is the priority application consideration date for the 2019-20 MTI Scholarship Program. Students may access the application via the Applications page (which is located within the Students & ParentsDuring CollegeApplying for Financial Aid area, and may also be obtained via the "Applications" link that appears at the bottom of all pages on the ISAC website). Complete applications received after this date will be considered only if funding remains after all timely complete applicants have been awarded. Encourage all minority students who meet the program's eligibility requirements to apply as soon as possible.

March 1: 2019-20 Illinois SETTW Application Deadline

Public four-year institutions: remind your students who plan to pursue a career in teaching that March 1, 2019 is the priority application consideration date for the 2019-20 Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program. Students may access the application via the Applications page (which is located within the Students & ParentsDuring CollegeApplying for Financial Aid area, and may also be obtained via the "Applications" link that appears at the bottom of all pages on the ISAC website). Complete applications received after this date will be considered only if available waivers remain after all timely complete applicants have been awarded.

2019-20 FAFSA Still Available

The 2019-20 FAFSA is still available online, and – if not already done – should be completed and submitted as soon as possible by students who will be attending college between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for several forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance, including MAP.

Encourage your students to check out the Financial Aid Planning section of the Students & Parents area for information regarding resources that are available to help them complete the financial aid process. In addition, several events – including financial aid presentations – are being offered across the State of Illinois. Students may attend the event that best fits their schedule.

Details regarding the 2019-20 application cycle may be accessed via the Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library.


2018-19 MAP Payment Status Update
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on January 8, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).

Submit First- and Second-Term Claims by March 8

2018-19 Monetary Award Program (MAP) second-term payment requests (claims), as well as all first-term claims (including late claims), are currently being accepted via the MAP system and by File Transfer Protocol (FTP). All first- and second-term claims must be submitted to ISAC no later than Friday, March 8, 2019 in order to be considered for payment. Claims submitted after this date will only be paid if funding is available after paying all claims submitted on or before March 8.

Reminders

  • ISAC has released some MAP grants from suspense status, impacting eligible students whose 2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) receipt dates were February 28, 2018 through (and including) April 4, 2018. These records are eligible for a full-year MAP award. To be considered for payment, first- and second-term claims for these records must be submitted to ISAC by March 8th.
  • All MAP grants for eligible students with initial FAFSA receipt dates on or after April 5, 2018 remain in a suspense status, and are not eligible for payment.
  • Visit the MAP Payment section, located within the MAP portion of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area, for specific details regarding the claims process.

Watch for Future Updates

Watch the FAA Message Board, the MAP Program News area and this e-Messaging service for the most up-to-date information regarding this program, including a future announcement of the 2018-19 MAP priority claim deadline for the third term (third quarter/second semester for institutions where the second semester begins after February 15th).


TESP Update: Print Reports by January 11
Sent to Financial Aid Directors and Financial Aid Administrators on January 4, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).

The following information is being shared to assist colleges in the administration of the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois (Golden Apple) programs [collectively, referred to as the Teacher Education Scholarship Programs (TESP)].

My Zone Portal Access

Effective Monday, January 7, 2019, colleges may again access the My Zone portal.

TESP Processing Will Eventually Move to GAP Access

In preparation for the eventual transition of MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple procesing into the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs Access (GAP Access) portal, maintenance and analysis are being performed. As part of this preparation, every precaution is being taken to protect applicants' personally identifiable information (PII), including Social Security numbers (SSNs).

Print TESP Payment Authorization Reports by January 11

2018-19 TESP Payment Authorization Reports that were generated in My Zone for the fall term included applicants' SSNs. In order to protect applicants' PII, all payment authorization reports generated in 2018 soon will be removed from the My Zone portal. Reports generated in My Zone from this point forward will not include SSNs.

Colleges are strongly encouraged to print or save all 2018-19 payment authorization reports for the fall term on or before Friday, January 11, 2019.

Continue Submitting Certifications for 2018-19 MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Programs

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, in order to ensure that your students will be included in any rounds of awarding that take place. Resources regarding the awarding process – including how to generate a report and filter or sort student eligibility data – may be accessed from within My Zone's TESP Notification area.

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ISAC UPDATE


Electronic ISAC Update for December 2018 Now Available
Sent on January 2, 2019.

The December 2018 edition of the ISAC Update is now available for your review, and may be accessed via the Partner e-Messages & Newsletters section of the e-Library at isac.org. This version of the electronic ISAC Update is a compilation of e-Messages sent to financial aid administrators and business officers via ISAC's e-Messaging service over the past month.

Topics covered in the December 2018 ISAC Update include:

  • Limited Release of 2018-19 MAP Suspense
    (sent December 18, 2018)
  • Save the Date – 2019 CCE Conference
    (sent December 13, 2018)
  • Update: ISAC's Military Programs
    (sent December 12, 2018)
  • A Holiday Wish from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)
    (sent December 7, 2018)
  • Electronic ISAC Update for November 2018 Now Available
    (sent December 3, 2018)

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