JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC Communiqué

Volume 31, Number 2C
  December 2021

Messages sent to: Multiple Subscription Groups
  ISAC Communiqué

Welcome to the December 2021 electronic ISAC Communiqué, which is a quarterly compilation of e-Messages sent through ISAC's e-Messaging service throughout October, November and December.

The articles in this electronic Communiqué have been organized according to the Counselor Subscription groups to which the messages were distributed.

Questions?

Questions regarding information in this electronic Communiqué can be directed to School Services at 866.247.2172 or at ISAC.schoolservices@illinois.gov. On occasion, you may be directed to a specific contact person or area; when this occurs, we will provide the appropriate information in the individual article or message.


MULTIPLE SUBSCRIPTION GROUPS


Learn How Electronic Transcripts Save Time & Money
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators and High School Counselors/Teachers, on December 15, 2021.

ISAC Transcript Exchange – Parchment Preview
January 19th • 10 a.m. (Central)
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Are you wondering if you should make the switch from paper to electronic transcripts?

ISAC is pleased to announce our upcoming Parchment Preview webinar. During this 45-minute webinar, which is offered in collaboration with Parchment, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the ISAC Transcript Exchange through Parchment, including how to navigate the student and administrator dashboards and gain efficiencies by switching from paper to electronic transcripts. You will also hear directly from a counselor regarding how their high school and students have benefited from utilizing the Exchange. This webinar is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the Exchange process.

The ISAC Transcript Exchange provides the opportunity for high school students to request that transcripts be sent electronically to the college(s) of their choice, the Common App, and other organizations requesting transcripts (e.g., scholarship providers and third-party verifications). ISAC's Transcript Exchange is available to all public and private high schools and districts at no cost.

Current students can request that transcripts be sent electronically to destinations worldwide, free of charge. Alumni are also able to use Parchment for transcript requests that include a transcript fee. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of transcript data, documents are sent through a secure transcript service in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

This webinar is offered at no cost to counselors, school administrations, and members of the public. Registration is free but required. To register for this webinar, visit our website at www.isac.org/pd/webinars.html.

To learn more about the ISAC Transcript Exchange, visit the website at www.isac.org/transcript-exchange. For questions on ISAC's Transcript Exchange, contact Lenore Smith at Lenore.Smith@illinois.gov.

Note: ISAC will not be offering Continuing Education (CE) credits or Professional Development hours (PD) for this webinar.


Deadline Extended – Submit your Proposal
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admissions Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on December 14, 2021.

Illinois PaCE Symposium

Deadline Extended Submit your Proposal

Due to a high level of interests from participants, we are extending our priority consideration deadline to submit interest session proposals to January 10th. We hope this will provide those who require additional time to finalize their proposals for the symposium. Please complete the online session proposal form.

As a reminder, the PaCE Symposium will bring people from across the state of Illinois to share unique knowledge and skills in collaborating and advancing postsecondary and career readiness efforts through the Illinois PaCE Framework. During the symposium, presenters will showcase PaCE implementation efforts and share their experiences and wisdom on how PaCE has strengthened postsecondary and career readiness in their schools. Sessions should provide in-depth information, practical ideas, and specific strategies for the audience that demonstrates and promotes steps taken to address the implementation of the PaCE Framework. It is encouraged to also share specific lessons learned and best practices on implementing the PaCE Framework. Each session will be 50 minutes long.

We are encouraging proposals that cover a wide range of themes related to the PaCE Framework such as, but not limited to:

  • How your school created a PaCE Framework
  • How your school executes activities to help meet the benchmarks in the PaCE Framework
  • How your school/district organizes the work in relation to the PaCE Framework
  • How the PaCE Framework has helped your community in supporting students on postsecondary and career readiness
  • Which PaCE benchmark initiatives your school is excited to showcase around any of the three domains: Career Exploration and Development, Financial Aid and Literacy, and Postsecondary Education Exploration, Preparation, and Selection

We also want to acknowledge the people who have already submitted their interest session proposals. Thank you so much to you all!

The 2022 PaCE Symposium will take place on April 21, 2022 at Elgin Community College, Elgin, Illinois. Additional information about the symposium can be found on the symposium page.

Please consider sharing this call for proposals with your colleagues.

For questions about the PaCE Symposium, please e-mail isac.pace@illinois.gov.

Hosted in partnership with:

Elgin Community College


A Holiday Wish from ISAC
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on December 8, 2021.

Season's Greetings 2017

Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) staff wish our high school, college, community organization and library partners a safe and peaceful holiday season.

As we look forward to the start of a new year, we remain committed to serving your school and your college-bound students by providing access to the information and financial assistance that can help students achieve their educational goals.

Best wishes for a healthy and successful 2022.

ISAC's Holiday Schedule

In observance of the holidays, ISAC staff will be unavailable as indicated below:

Christmas

  • After 2 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, December 23, 2021
  • Friday, December 24, 2021

New Year's

  • After 2 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, December 30, 2021
  • Friday, December 31, 2021

Staff will again be available on the first business day immediately following each holiday.

Access the Counselors area anytime, or send an e-mail message to ISAC's School Services Department. With the exception of days when announced as unavailable (such as the above dates), staff will review and respond to messages during regular business hours of Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT.


Reminder: Call for Proposals for PaCE Symposium
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admissions Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on December 7, 2021.

Illinois PaCE Symposium

Save the Date and Call for Proposals

We want to remind you to mark your calendars for ISAC's first annual Illinois Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) Symposium, which will take place on Thursday, April 21, 2022 in partnership with Elgin Community College. We are pleased to share that this event will be in-person at Elgin Community College! An agenda and registration information will be available in early 2022.

Call for Proposals

ISAC is making a call for proposals for the 2022 PaCE Symposium. Practitioners are encouraged to share their experiences and resources at the PaCE Symposium by submitting a session proposal. Help make this symposium a valuable professional development experience by sharing your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your questions with colleagues from all over the state.

Sessions should provide in-depth information, practical ideas, and specific strategies for the audience that demonstrates and promotes steps taken to address the implementation of the PaCE Framework. Practitioners are also encouraged to share specific lessons learned and best practices on implementing the PaCE Framework. Each session will be 50 minutes long. Please share this call for proposals and the session proposal form with your colleagues.

We are encouraging proposals that cover a wide range of themes related to the PaCE Framework such as, but not limited to:

  • How your school created a PaCE Framework
  • How your school executes activities to help meet the benchmarks in the PaCE Framework
  • How your school/district organizes the work in relation to the PaCE Framework
  • How the PaCE Framework has helped your community in supporting students on postsecondary and career readiness
  • Which PaCE benchmark initiatives your school is excited to showcase around any of the three domains: Career Exploration and Development, Financial Aid and Literacy, and Postsecondary Education Exploration, Preparation, and Selection

Deadline – Completed session proposal forms need to be submitted to ISAC by Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

Non-Commercial Policy – Please note that sessions are to be non-commercial forums. Individuals should refrain from using brand names or endorsing specific products. Sessions are not to be used as a place for direct promotion of a product or service.

Presenter Compensation – The PaCE Symposium does not provide any compensation for individuals accepted to serve as conference presenters. This includes compensation for travel-related expenses and hotel accommodations.

The PaCE Symposium will bring people from across the state of Illinois to share unique knowledge and skills in collaborating and advancing postsecondary and career readiness efforts through the Illinois PaCE Framework. During the symposium, presenters will showcase PaCE implementation efforts and share their experiences and wisdom on how PaCE has strengthened postsecondary and career readiness in their schools.

Attendees will:

  • Learn what PaCE is and how it can strengthen postsecondary readiness efforts
  • Meet educators who have implemented PaCE efforts in their school
  • Share PaCE implementation efforts that support students in becoming college and career ready
  • Learn about the latest state initiatives in advancing PaCE

For more information, visit the PaCE Symposium webpage. For questions about the PaCE Symposium, e-mail isac.pace@illinois.gov.

Hosted in partnership with:

Elgin Community College


Reminder: PaCE Training on December 8
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on December 2, 2021.

Illinois PaCE

We are sending this message to remind you about the upcoming PaCE Implementation Leader Training, which is being offered starting at 10 a.m. (CT) on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. The PaCE Implementation Leader Training provides an in-depth understanding of the PaCE implementation process and supports to implement an Illinois PaCE Framework or customized framework.

This training is offered at no cost to counselors, school administrators, and other college access professionals. Registration is required, but space is limited. To register, visit www.isac.org/pace/webinars.

ISAC offers Continuing Education (CE) credits and Professional Development (PD) hours to participants at a rate of one per contact hour. To earn these, it is necessary to attend the webinar in its entirety and complete an ISAC evaluation form. To receive PD hours, an additional evaluation from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must be completed and submitted along with an Illinois Educator Identification Number (EIN).

For questions about the Illinois PaCE Framework or webinars, contact the Professional Development staff at isac.pace@illinois.gov.


2022-23 State Scholars Announced
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators and High School Counselors/Teachers on November 30, 2021.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).

ISAC is pleased to announce that more than 17,340 qualified Illinois high school students have been designated as 2022-23 State Scholars. Information about the announcement process is below. You may either scroll through the remainder of this message, or click on the appropriate link(s) to go directly to a specific section:

Generating Reports
Public Announcement of Scholars
Student Notifications
Illinois State Scholar Badges
Corrections
Appeals Due by End of January 2022

Generating Reports

Instructions for generating reports of the school's State Scholar Finalists and Non-Finalists in the SSP system are provided in the SSP Online Processing User Guide.

Public Announcement of Scholars
(Certificates of Achievement and Press Release)

  • Certificates of Achievement are being mailed to high schools that did not opt to download and print their own certificates as part of the early announcement process.
    • As a reminder, and as explained in an September 10 e-Message, high schools that downloaded their own certificates will not receive the ISAC-printed Certificates of Achievements.
    • Counselors may distribute the certificates according to the preference of each school.
      • For those schools presenting the Certificates of Achievement to State Scholars during a future high school honors ceremony, counselors are reminded to keep the certificates in a location where they can be easily accessed when needed.
  • A sample press release, which can further assist schools in announcing State Scholars, may be accessed via the State Scholar Finalists page that is located within the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.
  • In deference to the differences in policies among high schools regarding publishing student information online, ISAC will not post the names of the Illinois State Scholar Finalists on its website.

Student Notifications

As part of the early announcement process, ISAC has been mailing individual congratulatory letters directly to State Scholars as they have been named, with the last batch of letters having been mailed in mid-November. You may view a sample of the congratulatory letter in the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area of the website.

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 and then following the on-screen prompts. Complete instructions are available via the ISAC website at isac.org/SSPbadge.

Validating a Badge

Those with whom a Scholar shares their badge may wish to validate its authenticity. In order for them 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 badge ID, and then click on "Check Badge ID."

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

Corrections

  • Corrections to already-submitted data must be submitted as follows:
    • Changes (for example, correcting the spelling of a name, or reporting that a student was designated as a State Scholar in error) must be submitted in writing to ISAC's School Services Department via a fax to 847.831.8549, via an e-mail to isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov, or via regular mail to our Deerfield address.

Appeals Due by End of January 2022

Counselors should carefully review the sixth-semester roster data they submitted to ISAC, in order to ensure there are no errors in the announcement of 2022-23 State Scholars. To assist in the review, details regarding the State Scholar Selection Process are provided within the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.

    • If a high school counselor feels that a student should have been designated as a State Scholar and was not, ISAC must receive a letter of appeal from the student and/or high school on or before the appeal deadline.


Increasing Shared Commitment through the Illinois Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) Framework
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on November 18, 2021.

Illinois PaCE Symposium

Save the Date and Call for Proposals

Mark your calendars for ISAC's first annual Illinois Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) Symposium, which will take place on Thursday, April 21, 2022 in partnership with Elgin Community College. We are pleased to share that this event will be in-person at Elgin Community College! An agenda and registration information will be available in early 2022.

The PaCE Symposium will bring people from across the state of Illinois to share unique knowledge and skills in collaborating and advancing postsecondary and career readiness efforts through the Illinois PaCE Framework. During the symposium, presenters will showcase PaCE implementation efforts and share their experiences and wisdom on how PaCE has strengthened postsecondary and career readiness in their schools.

Attendees will:

      • Learn what PaCE is and how it can strengthen postsecondary readiness efforts
      • Meet educators who have implemented PaCE efforts in their school
      • Share PaCE implementation efforts that support students in becoming college and career ready
      • Learn about the latest state initiatives in advancing PaCE

Call for Proposals

ISAC is making a call for proposals for the 2022 PaCE Symposium. Practitioners are encouraged to share their experiences and resources at the PaCE Symposium by submitting a session proposal. Help make this symposium a valuable professional development experience by sharing your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your questions with colleagues from all over the state.

Sessions should provide in-depth information, practical ideas, and specific strategies for the audience that demonstrates and promotes steps taken to address the implementation of the PaCE Framework. Practitioners are also encouraged to share specific lessons learned and best practices on implementing the PaCE Framework. Each session will be 50 minutes long. Please share this call for proposals and the session proposal form with your colleagues.

We are encouraging proposals that cover a wide range of themes related to the PaCE Framework such as, but not limited to:

      • How your school created a PaCE Framework
      • How your school executes activities to help meet the benchmarks in the PaCE Framework
      • How your school/district organizes the work in relation to the PaCE Framework
      • How the PaCE Framework has helped your community in supporting students on postsecondary and career readiness
      • Which PaCE benchmark initiatives your school is excited to showcase around any of the three domains: Career Exploration and Development, Financial Aid and Literacy, and Postsecondary Education Exploration, Preparation, and Selection

Deadline – Completed session proposal forms need to be submitted to ISAC by Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

Non-Commercial Policy – Please note that sessions are to be non-commercial forums. Individuals should refrain from using brand names or endorsing specific products. Sessions are not to be used as a place for direct promotion of a product or service.

Presenter Compensation – The PaCE Symposium does not provide any compensation for individuals accepted to serve as conference presenters. This includes compensation for travel-related expenses and hotel accommodations.

For more information, visit the PaCE Symposium webpage. For questions about the PaCE Symposium, e-mail isac.pace@illinois.gov.

Hosted in partnership with:

Elgin Community College


Reminder: Illinois PaCE Overview Webinar
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on November 10, 2021.

Illinois PaCE

We are sending this message as a reminder of our upcoming PaCE Overview webinar. This session provides a background information on how PaCE was developed and adopted by the state's education agencies and how schools and districts can also adopt the Illinois PaCE Framework or customize a PaCE Framework to fit their schools/districts needs.

This webinar is available to counselors, school district administrators, and other college access professionals at no cost. Registration is required, but space is limited. To register, visit www.isac.org/pace/webinars.

ISAC offers Continuing Education (CE) credits and Professional Development (PD) hours to participants at a rate of one per contact hour. To earn these, it is necessary to attend the webinar in its entirety and complete an ISAC evaluation form. To receive PD hours, an additional evaluation from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must be completed and submitted along with an Illinois Educator Identification Number (EIN).

For questions about the Illinois PaCE Framework or webinars, contact the Professional Development staff at isac.pace@illinois.gov.


High School2Career Webinar
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on November 9, 2021.

HS2Career

Earlier this year, the new Illinois High School2Career tool was launched! This new tool provides students and parents with a wide range of information on Illinois public high school seniors' pathways after high school, including their postsecondary education choices by degree type, academic area of study, and career outcomes. Join us to learn about this new tool available to Illinois students as they prepare for life after high school. ISAC's Professional Development staff will host webinars during the months of November and December. These webinars will provide an overview of the tool, a live walkthrough, and how students can use the information for career exploration and development. To learn more about Illinois High School2Career, visit www.ilhighschool2career.com.

These sessions are available to counselors, school district administrators, and other college access professionals at no cost. Registration is required, but space is limited. To register, visit www.isac.org/pd/webinars.

ISAC offers Continuing Education (CE) credits and Professional Development (PD) hours to participants at a rate of one per contact hour. To earn these, it is necessary to attend the webinar in its entirety and complete an ISAC evaluation form. To receive PD hours, an additional evaluation from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must be completed and submitted along with an Illinois Educator Identification Number (EIN).

For questions on the upcoming webinars, contact the Professional Development staff at isac.outreachtraining@illinois.gov.


Reminder Parchment Preview Webinar (November 10)
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators and High School Counselors/Teachers on November 3, 2021.

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Are you wondering if you should make the switch from paper to electronic transcripts? If so, don't miss the upcoming Parchment Preview webinar that ISAC will host, in collaboration with Parchment, at 10 a.m. (CT) next Wednesday (November 10th).

During this 45-minute webinar, attendees will learn about the ISAC Transcript Exchange through Parchment, including how to navigate the student and administrator dashboards and gain efficiencies by switching from paper to electronic transcripts.

The ISAC Transcript Exchange provides the opportunity for high school students to request that transcripts be sent electronically to the college(s) of their choice, the Common App, and other organizations requesting transcripts (e.g., scholarship providers and third-party verifications). ISAC's Transcript Exchange is available to all public and private high schools and districts at no cost.

Current students can request that transcripts be sent electronically to destinations worldwide, free of charge. Alumni are also able to use Parchment for transcript requests that include a transcript fee. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of transcript data, documents are sent through a secure transcript service in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

This webinar is offered at no cost to counselors, school administrations, and members of the public. Registration is free but required. To register for this webinar, visit our website at www.isac.org/pd/webinars.html.

To learn more about the ISAC Transcript Exchange, visit the website at www.isac.org/transcript-exchange. For questions on ISAC's Transcript Exchange, contact Lenore Smith at Lenore.Smith@illinois.gov.

Note: ISAC will not be offering Continuing Education (CE) credits or Professional Development hours (PD) for this webinar.


Illinois Postsecondary & Career Expectations (Pace) Framework Update Webinars
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admissions Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on October 27, 2021.

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Are you wondering if you should make the switch from paper to electronic transcripts? If so, don't miss the upcoming Parchment Preview webinar that ISAC will host, in collaboration with Parchment, at 10 a.m. (CT) next Wednesday (November 10th).

During this 45-minute webinar, attendees will learn about the ISAC Transcript Exchange through Parchment, including how to navigate the student and administrator dashboards and gain efficiencies by switching from paper to electronic transcripts.

The ISAC Transcript Exchange provides the opportunity for high school students to request that transcripts be sent electronically to the college(s) of their choice, the Common App, and other organizations requesting transcripts (e.g., scholarship providers and third-party verifications). ISAC's Transcript Exchange is available to all public and private high schools and districts at no cost.

Current students can request that transcripts be sent electronically to destinations worldwide, free of charge. Alumni are also able to use Parchment for transcript requests that include a transcript fee. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of transcript data, documents are sent through a secure transcript service in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

This webinar is offered at no cost to counselors, school administrations, and members of the public. Registration is free but required. To register for this webinar, visit our website at www.isac.org/pd/webinars.html.

To learn more about the ISAC Transcript Exchange, visit the website at www.isac.org/transcript-exchange. For questions on ISAC's Transcript Exchange, contact Lenore Smith at Lenore.Smith@illinois.gov.

Note: ISAC will not be offering Continuing Education (CE) credits or Professional Development hours (PD) for this webinar.


ISAC Transcript Exchange Upcoming Online Training Opportunities
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants and Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants on October 26, 2021.

Mark your calendars and plan to attend these upcoming trainings conducted by the Parchment team for ISAC Transcript Exchange. These are bite-sized learning sessions with no registration needed. Just click on the "Join Here” link(s) below for the session(s) you would like to attend on the date and time indicated:

      • November 2nd at 10 a.m. (Central) – Resources Overview for Both Admin and Learners (Join here live on Nov. 2nd)
      • November 9th at 10 a.m. (Central) – Learning the History Tab (Join here live on Nov. 9th)

If you're not familiar with the ISAC Transcript Exchange, it's a service that provides the opportunity for high school students to request that transcripts be sent electronically to the college(s) of their choice, the Common App, and other organizations requesting transcripts (e.g., scholarship providers and third-party verifications). ISAC's Transcript Exchange is available to all public and private high schools and districts at no cost. Current students can request that transcripts be sent electronically to destinations worldwide, free of charge. Alumni are also able to use Parchment for transcript requests that include a transcript fee. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of transcript data, documents are sent through a secure transcript service in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

To learn more about the ISAC Transcript Exchange, visit the website at www.isac.org/transcript-exchange. For questions on ISAC's Transcript Exchange, contact Lenore Smith at Lenore.Smith@illinois.gov.


State Scholar Early Announcements Begin
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators and High School Counselors/Teachers on October 21, 2021.

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 2022-23 State Scholars Completed

ISAC is pleased to announce that we have initiated the 2022-23 State Scholar Program (SSP) early announcement processing cycle for those high schools that have chosen to participate.

  • Congratulatory letters have been mailed to named Scholars.
  • High schools for whom Scholars have been 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 2022-23 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.

Reminders

  • Sixth semester data is due to ISAC no later than Friday, November 5, 2021.
  • As was the case last year (when 2021-22 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.
  • 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:


Learn How Electronic Transcripts Save Time & Money
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators and High School Counselors/Teachers on October 20, 2021.

ISAC Transcript Exchange – Parchment Preview
November 10th • 10 a.m. (Central)
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Are you wondering if you should make the switch from paper to electronic transcripts?

ISAC is pleased to announce, in collaboration with Parchment, a Parchment Preview webinar. During this 45-minute webinar, attendees will learn about the ISAC Transcript Exchange through Parchment, including how to navigate the student and administrator dashboards and gain efficiencies by switching from paper to electronic transcripts.

The ISAC Transcript Exchange provides the opportunity for high school students to request that transcripts be sent electronically to the college(s) of their choice, the Common App, and other organizations requesting transcripts (e.g., scholarship providers and third-party verifications). ISAC's Transcript Exchange is available to all public and private high schools and districts at no cost.

Current students can request that transcripts be sent electronically to destinations worldwide, free of charge. Alumni are also able to use Parchment for transcript requests that include a transcript fee. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of transcript data, documents are sent through a secure transcript service in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

This webinar is offered at no cost to counselors, school administrations, and members of the public. Registration is free but required. To register for this webinar, visit our website at www.isac.org/pd/webinars.html.

To learn more about the ISAC Transcript Exchange, visit the website at www.isac.org/transcript-exchange. For questions on ISAC's Transcript Exchange, contact Lenore Smith at Lenore.Smith@illinois.gov.

Note: ISAC will not be offering Continuing Education (CE) credits or Professional Development hours (PD) for this webinar.


2022-23 FAFSA Completion Initiative
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators and High School Counselors/Teachers on October 14, 2021.

Illinois PaCE

This July marked the fifth year since the PaCE Framework was adopted by the state's education agencies. While there is no mandate on schools to adopt PaCE, the Illinois PaCE Framework offers schools a tool for structuring their college and career readiness efforts to ensure that students have the information needed to make the most informed decision possible about life after high school.

The framework is organized around three key areas:

  • Career Exploration and Development,
  • Financial Aid and Literacy, and
  • Postsecondary Education Exploration, Preparation, and Selection.

We are sending this message to remind you about the upcoming PaCE Implementation Leader Training, which provides an in-depth understanding of the PaCE implementation process and supports to implement an Illinois PaCE Framework or customized framework.

This training is offered at no cost to counselors, school administrations, and members of the public. Registration is required, but space is limited. For more information – including access to online registration and the date/time for each training session – visit our website at www.isac.org/pace/webinars.

ISAC offers Continuing Education (CE) credits and Professional Development (PD) hours to participants at a rate of one per contact hour. To earn these, it is necessary to attend the webinar in its entirety and complete an ISAC evaluation form. To receive PD hours, an additional evaluation from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must be completed and submitted along with an Illinois Educator Identification Number (EIN).

For questions about ISAC's PaCE Support options, please contact the Professional Development staff at isac.pace@illinois.gov.


Reminder: PaCE Implementation Leader Training
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on October 14, 2021.

Illinois PaCE

This July marked the fifth year since the PaCE Framework was adopted by the state's education agencies. While there is no mandate on schools to adopt PaCE, the Illinois PaCE Framework offers schools a tool for structuring their college and career readiness efforts to ensure that students have the information needed to make the most informed decision possible about life after high school.

The framework is organized around three key areas:

      • Career Exploration and Development,
      • Financial Aid and Literacy, and
      • Postsecondary Education Exploration, Preparation, and Selection.

We are sending this message to remind you about the upcoming PaCE Implementation Leader Training, which provides an in-depth understanding of the PaCE implementation process and supports to implement an Illinois PaCE Framework or customized framework.

This training is offered at no cost to counselors, school administrations, and members of the public. Registration is required, but space is limited. For more information – including access to online registration and the date/time for each training session – visit our website at www.isac.org/pace/webinars.

ISAC offers Continuing Education (CE) credits and Professional Development (PD) hours to participants at a rate of one per contact hour. To earn these, it is necessary to attend the webinar in its entirety and complete an ISAC evaluation form. To receive PD hours, an additional evaluation from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must be completed and submitted along with an Illinois Educator Identification Number (EIN).

For questions about ISAC's PaCE Support options, please contact the Professional Development staff at isac.pace@illinois.gov.


Parchment Connect: Illinois Event Cancelled
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants and Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants on October 13, 2021.

We regret to inform you that the Parchment Connect event scheduled for October 21st at Blackburn College has been cancelled. While ISAC and Parchment colleagues looked forward to seeing partners in person, we've realized it's still a little early for some people to travel to in-person events. We are looking at spring 2022 to host another Connect event.

If you're not familiar with the ISAC Transcript Exchange, through Parchment, the service provides the opportunity for high school students to request that transcripts be sent electronically to the college(s) of their choice and to other organizations requesting transcripts (e.g., scholarships providers, third-party verifications). Through the ISAC Transcript Exchange, Illinois high schools are able to use the Parchment electronic service at no cost. Current students are able to request that transcripts be sent electronically to destinations free of charge. Alumni are also able to use Parchment for transcript requests that includes a transcript fee. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of transcript data, documents are sent through a secure transcript service in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If your school is not currently taking advantage of the ISAC Transcript Exchange and you would like to learn more about the service, please contact Lenore Smith from ISAC at Lenore.Smith@illinois.gov.


ISAC Transcript Exchange – Parchment Connect: Illinois (October 21st at Blackburn College)
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators,High School Counselors/Teachers, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants and Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants on October 5, 2021.

We invite you to meet with ISAC Transcript Exchange through Parchment member institutions from Illinois secondary and postsecondary education communities and the Parchment team. This one-day, free event (with continental breakfast and boxed lunch provided) is a terrific opportunity to learn more about ISAC Transcript Exchange and for Parchment members in Illinois to come together to learn best practices, hear what's new from Parchment, discuss emerging trends in academic credentials, and network with peers and members of the Parchment team.

The event is taking place Thursday, October 21st from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Central) at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. Please plan to arrive on campus by 9:15 a.m., which will allow time to park, walk to the event venue, check in and collect your name badge. The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. You can learn more details about the event and register online here.

Please Note: All attendees will be required to wear a mask indoors in order to comply with the mask mandate declaration from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, as well as to comply with health and safety best practices.

If you're not familiar with the ISAC Transcript Exchange, the service provides the opportunity for high school students to request that transcripts be sent electronically to the college(s) of their choice and to other organizations requesting transcripts (e.g., scholarships providers). Through the ISAC Transcript Exchange, Illinois high schools are able to use the Parchment electronic service at no cost. Current students are able to request that transcripts be sent electronically to destinations free of charge. Alumni are also able to use Parchment for transcript requests that includes a transcript fee. To protect the privacy and confidentiality of transcript data, documents are sent through a secure transcript service in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

If your school is not currently taking advantage of the ISAC Transcript Exchange and you would like to learn more about the service, please contact Lenore Smith from ISAC at Lenore.Smith@illinois.gov.


2021 FAFSA Symposium: Session Recordings Now Available
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admissions Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on October 5, 2021.

The Capacity Development and Training (CDT) Division at ISAC thanks everyone who attended the 3rd annual FAFSA Symposium, including the presenters for sharing their knowledge, expertise, and time.

We are pleased to share that the 2021 FAFSA Symposium session recordings and materials are now posted to the 2021 FAFSA Symposium website. To access a recorded session, click on the plus sign (+) on the left side of the agenda, and view as your schedule permits. Session topics include: FAFSA and ISAC updates, strategies for financial aid completion and workshops, helping first-generation students with FAFSA completion and more.

Additionally, we ask everyone who attended the symposium to provide feedback by completing the 2021 FAFSA Symposium evaluation by Friday, October 8, 2021.

Be on the lookout for information on the 4th annual FAFSA Symposium in the coming months.

To learn about upcoming professional development opportunities, visit the Professional Development website. For questions about the FAFSA Symposium or professional development opportunities, contact the Professional Development staff at isac.outreachtraining@illinois.gov.


2022-23 FAFSA®, Alternative Application and Important Dates
Sent to Principals/Superindendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admissions Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on October 1, 2021.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) would like to make you aware of the following information, which may be of interest to you and/or your college-bound students and their families.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at ISAC's website (isac.org).

You may either scroll through the remainder of this message, or click on the appropriate link(s) to go directly to a specific section:

2022-23 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023)
New FAFSA and Alternative Application Now Available

2021-22 (July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022)

General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)

2022-23 ACADEMIC YEAR

2022-23 FAFSA® and Alternative Application Now Available

The 2022-23 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) cycle, including FAFSA on the Web, opened – and the Central Processing System (CPS) began processing 2022-23 FAFSA data – on October 1, 2021. Details regarding the 2022-23 application cycle may be accessed via the Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library for Partners.

The 2022-23 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is also available (in English and Spanish). As a reminder, students meeting the criteria of the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act may file the Alternative Application – which is patterned after the FAFSA – to apply for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant. Because the failure to register for Selective Service no longer disqualifies an applicant from receiving federal student aid, students who have not registered may want to consider completing the FAFSA instead of the Alternative Application to maximize their financial aid opportunities. Further details are provided at ISAC's RISE Act page.

Encourage your college-bound students to check out the Financial Aid Planning area for information regarding resources that are available to help students complete the financial aid process.

October is College Changes Everything Month 2021

During College Changes Everything Month (October), ISAC will offer support for both college application activities and 2022-23 FAFSA completion. If you have not already done so, register your high school for a 2021 College Changes Everything Month event.

Early October: FAFSA Completion Initiative via GAP Access

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 FAFSA Completion Initiative is a resource that can help high schools monitor their students' compliance with this mandate.

Student lists for participating high schools, which are generated from spring 2021 college entrance exam records, are anticipated to be available in the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal in early October. These student lists are matched against FAFSA and Alternative Application records, and new 2022-23 match data will be available weekly (on Monday mornings).

Note: Because records are available from ACT and SAT exams taken during the spring, the student record upload function used by high schools to create their 2021-22 student lists is not needed for the 2022-23 processing cycle. The FAFSA Completion Initiative User Guide will soon be updated to reflect this change, as well as information regarding a new "opt-out" box that high schools can use to indicate that the waiver provision has been exercised by a parent, guardian, or the student (if 18 or emancipated) to opt out of filing the FAFSA.

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

By June 30: High School Juniors Take College Assessment Exams for State Scholar Consideration

Eligibility for the State Scholar Program is based, in part, on a student's highest qualifying ACT or SAT score. Although effective January 1, 2022, Illinois’ public institutions are prohibited from requiring the submission of student test scores as part of the admissions process, high school junior students who are potential State Scholar candidates will still need to take one of the accepted exams (ACT or SAT) during the specified timeframe to be considered for State Scholar designation. Further details are provided in a September 7 e-Message.

For current high school juniors, only exams taken between August 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 qualify for consideration in the State Scholar announcements that will be made during their senior year (i.e., high school juniors, who will be college freshmen during the 2023-24 academic year, will be named Scholars during the fall of 2022). Further details are provided for students at the State Scholar Program page of our website.

2021-22 ACADEMIC YEAR

November 5: Sixth Semester Data Due for State Scholar Processing

As announced in a September 10 e-Message, ISAC continues to accept and process sixth semester data (for high school seniors, who will be college freshmen during the 2022-23 academic year and will be named Scholars during the fall of 2021) via the Excel file upload and online processes. Schools are encouraged to submit their sixth semester data as soon as they are able to do so, and no later than Friday, November 5, 2021.

You will be notified via the usual means (the "Program News" section of the State Scholar Program area, the Counselor Message Board, and/or ISAC's e-Messaging service) as new information becomes available – including notification of when the first round of early announcements has taken place. In the meantime, please continue to submit sixth semester data for your high school.

ISAC Administrative Rules Available

ISAC Administrative Rules, which were adopted for the 2021-22 academic year, are available within the e-Library for Partners and may be viewed in two formats: "Listed Alphabetically" and "Listed by Program Type/Topic."

Selective Service Requirement Removed from ISAC's Rules

An August 27 e-Message announces that – effective August 16, 2021 and in conjunction with ED's early implementation of the related portion of the FAFSA Simplification Act – the requirement that each applicant must comply with Selective Service requirements as stated in federal regulations was deleted from ISAC's rules. We are in the process of updating resource information, including program pages on the website, and will revise application documents and other operational material as necessary as we move through the processing year.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Encourage College-bound Students to Use MAP Estimator

Inform your students who are planning to attend college in Illinois that they can get an idea of their eligibility for the MAP grant by using the MAP Estimator online tool. Students can access the MAP Estimator via the Toolbox area of the ISAC Student Portal.

December 2: Next Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, December 2, 2021. Further details, including a listing of tentative agenda items, will be available prior to the meeting via the ISAC's Governing Board: The Commission section of the About ISAC area.

The Commission Meeting Schedule page will soon be updated with information regarding all meetings scheduled in 2022.

Through December: Professional Development Fall Webinar Series

An August 31 e-Message announces that the 2021 ISAC Professional Development fall webinar series is being offered through December. For the most up-to-date schedule, and to register for one of the webinars, visit the Webinars page in the Professional Development Opportunities area.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:

      • Monday, October 11 – Columbus Day
      • Thursday, November 11 – Veterans Day
      • Thursday, November 25 – Thanksgiving Day
      • Friday, November 26 – Day after Thanksgiving
      • Friday, December 24 – Christmas (observed)
      • Friday, December 31 – New Year's (observed)

Staff will again be available the first business day immediately following each holiday.

For Assistance

Access the Counselors area anytime, or send an e-mail message to ISAC's School Services Department. With the exception of days when ISAC staff members are unavailable, we will review and respond to messages during regular business hours of Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT.

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ISAC COMMUNIQUÉ


September 2021 ISAC Communiqué
Sent on October 1, 2021.

The latest edition of the ISAC Communiqué is now available for your review, and may be accessed via the Partner e-Messages & Newsletters section of the e-Library for Partners at isac.org. This electronic version of ISAC's newsletter is a compilation of information provided to Counselor partners via ISAC's e-Messaging service over the past quarter.

Topics covered in this electronic Communiqué include:

  • 2022-23 MAP Start-up Formula Approved
    (sent September 21, 2021)
  • Registration Open for FAFSA Symposium
    (sent September 15, 2021)
  • Processing Update for 2022-23 State Scholars (Impacting High School Graduating Class of 2022)
    (sent September 10, 2021)
  • Postsecondary & Career Expectations (PaCE) Framework Webinars
    (sent September 9, 2021)
  • State Scholar Candidates Must Take Standardized College Exam – Alert Your Junior Students
    (sent September 7, 2021)
  • 2021-2022 Professional Development Webinars
    (sent August 31, 2021)
  • Selective Service Requirement Removed from ISAC's Rules
    (sent August 27, 2021)
  • 2021-22 MAP Suspense Date: August 27, 2021
    (sent August 23, 2021)
  • ISAC Transcript Exchange – Back to School Webinars
    (sent August 18, 2021)
  • Ready to View – CCE Conference Recordings
    (sent July 28, 2021)
  • 2021-22 ISAC Administrative Rules Available
    (sent July 27, 2021)
  • Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC
    (sent July 22, 2021)
  • State Scholar Processing Has Begun
    (sent July 14, 2021)
  • Still Time to Register – CCE Conference
    (sent July 12, 2021)
  • Get Ready! CCE Conference Starts Next Week
    (sent July 6, 2021)
  • June 2021 ISAC Communiqué
    (sent July 1, 2021)

Electronic newsletters are available at the beginning of each quarter (January, April, July, and October), and are the compilation of information announced via an e-Message to any of the Counselor subscription groups during the previous quarter.

Encourage Your Colleagues to Sign Up for e-Messaging

ISAC's e-Messaging service is our primary means of communicating information to Counselor partners.

Encourage your colleagues who have not done so to subscribe through the Counselors e-Messaging sign-up page at isac.org today, so that they won't miss future announcements or updates from ISAC.

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