JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

2023-24 Financial Aid Application Completion Initiative

11/14/2022

Effective today, November 14, 2022, counselors at participating high schools may access their students' 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid (Alternative Application) completion data via the Financial Aid Application Completion component of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal.

All Illinois public high school students are required to complete either the FAFSA or the Alternative Application as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma. ISAC's Financial Aid Application Completion Initiative is a resource that can help high schools monitor their students' compliance with this mandate.

Public High School Student Lists Now Available

Student lists obtained from Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) records and matched against FAFSA and Alternative Application data, are now appearing in the Financial Aid Application Completion system for all participating Illinois public high schools. New 2023-24 match data will be available in GAP Access on a daily basis.

Because records were obtained from ISBE, public high schools do not need to upload their list of 2022-23 seniors. Only if student records need to be edited will a public high school need to utilize the "Add/Delete" functionality.

Student Record Upload Function Available for Private High Schools

To ensure that FAFSA Completion data of private high school students is available, private high schools will need to complete a Student Record Upload for the entire 2023 class at least once between now and July 31, 2023. That function is now open and able to receive uploads of student data. Remember that the Student Record Upload function is separate from the State Scholar File Upload process.

Student Record Updates

All high schools are encouraged to monitor student data in GAP Access and make any necessary updates to ensure the most accurate and current enrollment is available. The Financial Aid Application Completion Initiative User Guide contains instructions for updating student data.

"Opt-Out" Box

An "opt-out" box in the Financial Aid Application Completion system allows high schools to indicate that the FAFSA mandate waiver provision has been exercised by a parent, guardian, or the student (if at least 18 years old or emancipated). While high schools still need to collect and retain the actual waiver documentation, this feature serves as another way to track the application completion requirement.

Updated User Guide Available

The Financial Aid Application Completion Initiative User Guide has been updated for the 2023-24 cycle, and includes information about the student list, the Student Record Upload option and the "opt-out" box.

Participation

Principals who have not already done so can sign up their high school for participation in ISAC's Financial Aid Application Completion Initiative through our automated system at the GAP Access portal. Refer to the user guide for more information.

Reminder

In keeping with the goal of securing all confidential data, the principal of each high school is designated as that school's GAP Access Primary Administrator. While we understand principals are not usually involved in the day-to-day processes, we do require the current school principal to register and activate their own GAP Access account. If a high school has a new principal, they must have their own account.

You are receiving this message because you registered for ISAC's e-Messaging service through one or more subscription groups for Counselors.

If you have any questions regarding this e-Message, please contact ISAC's School Services Department by calling toll free at 866.247.2172 or sending an e-mail message to [email protected].