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Certification and Qualification for MTI

Initial Certification Overview
Student Certification Entry Instructions
Appeal Procedures

Initial Certification Overview

An Initial Certification record is created in My Zone when a TESP Application is complete. A complete application and a complete and eligible certification record are required to be considered for an award.

Initial Certification data for TESP programs can be entered and submitted to ISAC via My Zone and viewed online on the Student Certification: List screen. Schools can also request Outstanding and Complete Certifications reports that can be generated by program and exported as an MS Excel file or a Portable Document Format (PDF) file.

The Student Certification: List includes all applicants, in the three categories listed below, for whom ISAC received a complete application. The March 1 date is used for priority consideration in making awards. A student who submits the application after March 1 may still receive a scholarship in later awarding cycles, providing funds remain after timely applicants are considered.

  • Renewal Timely Applicants (postmarked on or before March 1)
  • New Timely Applicants (postmarked on or before March 1); and  
  • All Untimely Applicants (postmarked on or after March 2

All Initial Certifications available in My Zone must be completed regardless of whether the school certifies a student as eligible or ineligible. The only way an applicant will receive one of the Notification letters is if the Initial Certification is submitted via My Zone.

Student Certification Entry Instructions

Refer to the Student Certification Entry Instructions for detailed instructions for completing and submitting the Certification in My Zone.


  • An overview of the online Certification process, instructions to enter and submit certifications to ISAC and how to request a report can be found in the TESP Certification area of My Zone. 
  • A certification record must be submitted for applicants who are eligible and ineligible.
  • Only applicants with a complete and eligible certification record will be considered for an award.
  • Corrections to a certification record can be made online until the Qualification process runs. After the Qualification process runs, one of the statuses (T, Q or D) displays in the Status column on the Student Certification: List screen. If a status displays, corrections must be made by ISAC.
  • Be sure to continue completing and submitting Initial Certifications for the TESP programs throughout the rear so that applicants will receive the appropriate notifications.

Correction requests can be submitted to ISAC by e-mail, FAX or telephone at:

Attention: School Services Department – D2A
1755 Lake Cook Road
Deerfield, IL 60015
FAX: 847.831.8327
School Services: 866.247.2172 (toll free)


After an Initial Certification is entered via My Zone, a qualification process determines an applicant’s award eligibility and which notification should be sent. The qualification process runs on a nightly basis throughout the award year. The results of entering a TESP certification record is returned in real-time, as soon as the record is entered.

  • If the postsecondary school certifies a student as ineligible for an award, Notice of Ineligibility is sent to the applicant. Copies of ineligible student letters are not sent to the postsecondary school. If a student subsequently meets the eligibility criteria (i.e., Anticipated at Least Half-Time Enrollment, etc.), the Certification can be corrected online and resubmitted.
  • If the college certified a student as eligible for a TESP 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.  Applicants will be eligible for award determination and will receive and receive one of the award announcements.
  • If a student becomes ineligible after eligibility has been established, the student will receive a Notice of Disqualification.

Appeal Procedures

Ineligible applicants will be sent an MTI award Notice of Ineligibility and advised of the reason for the denial of an award. If there are extenuating circumstances that would cause ISAC to reconsider an applicant’s eligibility, an appeal may be appropriate.

While a financial aid administrator may assist an applicant in formulating an appeal request, the applicant must appeal ISAC’s decision by filing a written request within 60 days of the date on the denial letter.  The written request must explain the basis of the appeal and provide all pertinent details and appropriate documentation.

Appeals should be submitted to:

Manager of Applicant Services, DA3
Illinois Student Assistance Commission
1755 Lake Cook Road
Deerfield, IL  60015

ISAC will send a written response to the applicant within 15 working days of its receipt of the written appeal.