About the ISACorps
Beginning in 2009, ISAC significantly expanded its college access and outreach programs and services by developing the ISACorps. The ISACorps is a talented group of recent college graduates who are trained to serve as near peer mentors to high school students, helping students and their families navigate the process of applying to and entering college.
As part of their outreach efforts, ISACorps members partner with local schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in order to deliver free career and college planning and preparation services. The ISACorps provides workshops, presentations, and one-on-one mentoring for students and families, assisting them with career exploration, college selection, test preparation, scholarship searches, application completion, and the financial aid process.
ISACorps members particularly focus their efforts on working with students who are low-income and those whose families have no prior college-going experience. As a way to equitably serve the entire state, each of the ISACorps members is assigned to a community college district in Illinois, although they are not affiliated with the community college system. Corps members spend 50% of their time working in the highest need high schools in their district and 50% of their time in other community-based organizations and locations. In order to better connect with students, every effort is made to recruit ISACorps members who are first generation college students and who come from the Illinois community to which they will be assigned.
Working with schools, colleges, and community-based organizations, in fiscal year 2014 alone the ISACorps conducted over 6,400 outreach events, including more than 700 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) completion workshops and 800 financial aid presentations. More than 190,000 students, parents, and other individuals participated in these outreach events in over 450 cities and towns.
ISACorps One-on-One Mentoring
The ISACorps can supplement the support that high school college counselors provide by offering one-on-one assistance for high school students and their families, as well as adult students, in areas such as career and college exploration, college admission and applications, financial aid options, completing the FAFSA, understanding the financial aid award letter, transitioning to college, and more.
ISACorps Presentations and Workshops
The ISACorps offer a host of presentations and workshops across the state on navigating the financial aid process, completing the FAFSA, and the college application process. The following are just some of the many types of presentations and workshops conducted by the ISACorps. Check out the Outreach Activities Calendar for a list of events in your area.
● The Financial Aid Process
ISACorps members are experts at simplifying the often confusing world of financial aid with an introduction to the financial aid process. Grants, scholarships, and student loans are included as topics for discussion. The FAFSA is also covered at length.
● FAFSA Completion Workshops
A hands-on workshop during which students and families can complete and submit a FAFSA with the assistance of the ISACorps.
● College Preparation Sessions
A variety of presentations and workshops that cover topics such as college planning in high school, college 101, completing college applications, and managing expenses in college.
School counselors and partners:
Are you looking to host a specific type of presentation or workshop on the college-going or financial aid process? We can help—let us know what you are looking for by filling out the request form in the Counselor area of our website.
Tell us your story!
Has the ISACorps helped you or a family member get to college? Share your story with us! Email Abel.Montoya@isac.illinois.gov