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Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program

Program News

(last updated January 4, 2019)

2018-19 Program Funding
2018-19 Payment Authorization
2018-19 Payment
2018-19 Award Determination
2018-19 Qualification
2018-19 Certification
2018-19 Nominations
Golden Apple Scholars Program Additional References


Program Funding

The 2019 fiscal year (July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019) appropriation for the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program is $6,498,000.

Payment Authorization

Effective Monday, January 7, 2019, colleges may again access the My Zone portal. In preparation for the eventual transition of Golden Apple processing into the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs Access (GAP Access) portal, 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.


TESP payment requests for the Golden Apple Scholarship Program can be completed online and submitted electronically to ISAC via TESP Payment Online at My Zone beginning September 6, 2018.

The payment processing cycle for the 2018-19 academic year is as follows:

  • TESP Payment functionality consists of two components: TESP Payment Request Roster and TESP Payment Authorization. Results for payment requests received will be available via TESP Payment Authorization at My Zone 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 Tuesday morning for new payment results.
  • The disbursement of funds will be processed by the State Comptroller’s Office. Refer to the State Comptroller's Website page, located within the Processes section of the FAA area, for information on how to track payment.
  • TESP payment roster data will be generated each Wednesday night and available at TESP Payment Online every Thursday morning.
  • Each week, results for payment requests submitted on or before Monday will be available at My Zone the following Tuesday.
  • The history of all payment requests for the academic year is available to colleges online, minimizing the need to print and retain hard copies of rosters.

Refer to the Award Determination and Payment for the Golden Apple Scholarship page within the GAS area for general information about the payment process. Refer to the TESP Payment Request Roster and the TESP Payment Authorization pages at TESP My Zone for details about the TESP Payment Request process, instructions for completing and submitting payment request rosters to ISAC and how to view, save and print payment results.

Award Determination

Awarding for the 2018-19 Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program took place on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 and included applicants for whom an initial certification has been submitted by the college. The Golden Apple Foundation communicates directly with Golden Apple award recipients.

Information about Award Determination can be found on the Golden Apple Scholar Award Determination and Payment page within this section. Refer to the TESP pages in My Zone to learn about accessing student Eligibility data using TESP Notification to generate a report or view information online using the search, filter and sot functions.


After an Initial Certification is entered, a qualification process determines an applicant’s award eligibility. The qualification process runs on a nightly basis throughout the year. The results of entering a Golden Apple certification record is retuned in real-time, as soon as the record is entered. Communication to the student regarding their eligibility status is sent by the Golden Apple Foundation. Be sure to access the TESP Student Certifications: List at My Zone regularly to learn the qualification status of applicants from your college.

  • If the college certified a student as eligible for a Golden Apple award, the “Complete” column will be checked and a status code of “Q” will display in the Status column on the Student Certifications: List in My Zone. Corrections cannot be made online at My Zone after an eligible record has been qualified. Requests to correct qualified records must be submitted to ISAC.
  • If the college certified a student as ineligible for a Golden Apple award, the Complete column will be checked and a status code of “U” will display in the Status Colum on the Student Certifications: List in My Zone. If a student subsequently meets the eligibility criteria or an incorrect eligibility reason was initially entered, (i.e., not attending at least half-time etc.) the Certification can be corrected on line and resubmitted via My Zone.

Refer to the Student Certification Entry Instructions page at My Zone to learn about submitting a certification, obtain a complete list of the status codes returned after a certification record is processed and making corrections before and after a record has been qualified.


Golden Apple Scholarship Initial Certification records for the 2018-19 academic year can be completed online and submitted electronically to ISAC via My Zone beginning August 30, 2018. My Zone is available to enter certification information each Monday through Friday from 7am. until 7pm. (CT). Results are available in real-time. The 2018-19 certification process is the same as previous years. The TESP Initial Certification Quick Guide lists the fields and values that must be entered to verify eligibility.

An initial Certification record is created in My Zone when the Golden Apple Foundation provides complete application information. All Initial Certifications available in My Zone must be completed regardless of whether the school certifies a student as eligible of ineligible. Be sure to continue completing and submitting initial certifications throughout the year, in order to ensure that your students will be included in subsequent rounds of awarding.

A general overview of the certification process for Golden Apple Scholars is available within this section. Details regarding the online Certification process, instructions to enter and submit certification to ISAC and how to request a report can be found in the TESP Certification area of My Zone.


Teachers, principals, counselors, or mentors can nominate a student to the Golden Apple Scholars program, beginning August 2018 by completing this form. Once the form is submitted, the nominated student will receive an email with login information and a link to apply online. Golden Apple educators will review online applications, choose the finalists to be interviewed and select the new group of Scholars.

Golden Apple Scholars Program Additional References

To access general information about the Golden Apple Program click on one of the links in the right-hand menu. To access the page within the GAS section that addresses the topics listed below, click on the topic.

Award Determination

TESP – My Zone