Skip to Content Bruce Rauner, Governor, State of Illinois

State Scholar Finalists

State Scholar Finalist
Illinois State Scholar Badges

In November of each year, ISAC announces the State Scholar Finalists. Students from nearly every high school in Illinois compete in the program. State Scholars can be found on the campuses of nearly 200 public and private institutions of higher education in Illinois. The combination of students’ exemplary college entrance examination scores and record high school achievement indicate an especially high potential for success in college. To be named an Illinois State Scholar is an outstanding accomplishment that will be a highlight of the recipient’s academic record.

As 2019-20 State Scholars are named, congratulatory letters with a link to information about a digital Illinois State Scholar Badge, will be mailed directly to each scholar. A corresponding Certificate of Achievement is mailed to the high schools with a cover letter. Typically, the Certificates are presented to Scholars during a high school honors ceremony, and distributed according to the preferences of the high school. New for the 2019-20 processing cycle, high schools can choose to print Certificates of Achievement for their scholars or receive them from ISAC. Links to the online listing of State Scholars and a copy of the Congratulatory letter that was sent to each State Scholar are available in the right menu of this page.

Announcement of all 2019-20 Illinois State Scholars is through an online listing of displaying each State Scholar alphabetically by high school, within the school's Illinois county, which will be available in early December 2018. High schools that participate in early announcement may generate the "Finalists" report from the SSP system after their State Scholars have been announced. Schools may choose to download and print their own certificates or may wait for ISAC to mail printed Certificates of Achievement to them after the final round of announcements takes place in late fall.

If students or parents have questions regarding the selection process, high school counselors may choose to share with them the student's grade point average (GPA) or class rank data that was submitted to ISAC, and explain how that information factors into the formula used to determine State Scholar eligibility which can be found on the State Scholar Selection Process page.

ISAC also assists Regional Offices, as well as high school counselors, in notifying local media of student accomplishments. A sample press release, which will be available in early December, is provided to assist counselors with acknowledgement of State Scholars. Counselors may complete the generic parts of the press release with the pertinent information and the names of individual scholars and send it to local newspaper, radio and television outlets so their students can be recognized for their academic achievement. In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, if listings are sent to the media, Social Security Numbers must not be included.

Once a high school's students have been announced as 2019-20 State Scholars, no further changes can be submitted via the SSP system. Any corrections to already-submitted data would need to be submitted as follows:

Correcting Data

  • Corrections to data (for example, correcting the spelling of a name, or reporting that a student was designated as a State Scholar in error) can be made at any time after a scholar is announced and must be submitted in writing to ISAC's School Services Department via a fax to 847.831.8549, via an e-mail to, or via regular mail to our Deerfield address.


  • If the high school counselor feels that a student should have been designated as a State Scholar and was not, refer to the page within this section about SSP appeals. Appeals must be received at ISAC on or before 60 days after the date that State Scholars are announced. The deadline date for appeals for the 2019-20 announcement of State Scholars will be provided in November, 2018

Illinois State Scholar Badges

Included in the congratulatory letter is information regarding a digital Illinois State Scholar badge issued by ISAC. The badge can be displayed on a State Scholar's online profiles and social media accounts, and shared with high school counselors, prospective colleges, employers, family members and others. Scholars may access their badges by visiting the ISAC Student Portal at and then following the on-screen prompts. Complete instructions are available via the ISAC website at

Validating a Badge

Those with whom a Scholar shares their badge may wish to validate its authenticity. In order to do so, the Scholar will need to provide either a link (URL) to the badge or the badge ID.

  • If the link (URL) has been provided: click on the link, which will launch the Badge Verification screen. The badge ID will automatically be populated, so they only need to click on "Check Badge ID."
  • To verify a badge without the link (URL):the person will need to access the State Scholar Program Badge area (located within the Toolbox section of the ISAC Student Portal), click on "Badge Verification," enter the Scholar's

    A validated badge will display "Badge ID is valid for: (FIRST NAME) (LAST NAME)."