State Scholar Early Announcements Have Begun
Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).
First Early Announcements of 2024-25 State Scholars Completed
ISAC is pleased to announce that the 2024-25 State Scholar Program (SSP) early announcement processing cycle has begun for those high schools that have chosen to participate. Scholars whose high schools participate in the early announcement process can benefit by including this academic achievement on their college admission applications.
- Starting today (Tuesday, October 17, 2023), congratulatory letters will be mailed to named Scholars.
- High schools for whom Scholars are named may check an individual student's status by viewing the "Selected for State Scholar" column on the "Student Results" screen within the SSP system.
- A "Finalist" report may be generated via the SSP system. Instructions for generating this report are provided on pages 14-15 of the SSP Online Processing User Guide.
Weekly Announcement of State Scholars
From this point forward, a weekly announcement of 2024-25 State Scholars will be made for students attending high schools that have submitted sixth semester data with no unresolved discrepancies and have chosen to participate in the early announcement process. Results for these high schools will be reflected in the SSP system on Tuesday mornings.
- Sixth semester data is due to ISAC no later than Friday, November 3, 2023.
- As was the case last year (when 2023-24 State Scholars were named), students with an Illinois Standard Test Score (ISTS) of 31 or higher are automatically designated as State Scholars; students with an ISTS lower than 31, but whose Weighted Selection Score (WSS) is greater than or equal to the cutoff score of 47, are also designated as State Scholars.
- Specific details about the selection formula are provided on the State Scholar Selection Process page.
- High schools choose whether to include their eligible students for consideration in the early processing cycle.
- Checking the "Run Selection" box (located on the "State Scholar Program: Search By School: Results" screen of the SSP system) allows the high school's students to be included for consideration in the next round of 2024-25 State Scholar announcements.
- For high schools that submit sixth semester data via an Excel spreadsheet, the "Run Selection" checkbox becomes available to check after ISAC has reviewed the file.
- Once ISAC has reviewed the file, an e-mail is sent to the high school's Primary Administrator (principal) and the School Contact (as listed in the SSP system's "State Scholar Program: Search by School: Results" screen) to indicate the "Run Selection" box is available to check.
- Before checking the box, be sure to review all submitted student data for accuracy.
- Students whose high schools submit sixth semester data, but choose not to participate in the early announcement process, will be considered for State Scholar designation when the last announcement round takes place in late fall.
- A sample press release, which can assist schools in announcing State Scholars, will be provided at the ISAC website after final announcements have been made.
Resources Available Online
The following resources provide additional information about the State Scholar Program, including submitting sixth semester data, participating in the early announcement process, obtaining Certificates of Achievement* and validating State Scholar badges:
- September 26, 2023 "Processing Update for 2024-25 State Scholars (Impacting High School Graduating Class of 2024)" e-Message
- July 10, 2023 "State Scholar Processing Has Begun" e-Message
- SSP section of ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area
- User Guides: SSP File Upload and SSP Online Processing
For the current State Scholar processing cycle (i.e., for Illinois students who will be college freshmen during the 2024-25 academic year), schools continue to have the option of printing their own Certificates of Achievement or having them printed and sent to them by ISAC after the final round of announcements has taken place.
High schools are reminded that – beginning with next year's State Scholar processing cycle (i.e., for Illinois students who will be college freshmen during the 2025-26 academic year) – ISAC will no longer print these documents. Rather, all high schools will need to print Certificates of Achievement for their State Scholars.
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