Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC
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 students.
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:
2024-25 (July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025)
2023-24 (July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024)
2022-23 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023)
General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)
By End of December 2023: 2024-25 FAFSA® Available
As part of implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the 2024-25 federal process for requesting financial assistance is anticipated to reflect the changes outlined below. Because these changes will take time to properly implement, the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is expected to be available in December 2023 (rather than in October). ISAC anticipates availability of the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid for the 2024-25 academic year to coincide with the launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA.
With the 2024-25 FAFSA:
- up to 20 different colleges can be listed on the online FAFSA and have information sent to them (in prior years, only ten colleges could be listed);
- due to a change in the methodology used to determine aid, a Student Aid Index (SAI) – rather than an expected family contribution (EFC) – is used to measure the student's (and, if applicable, the family's) ability to pay for college;
- the new need analysis formula no longer factors the number of family members attending college into the calculation;
- separate criteria to determine eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant Program, linking eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level, make program funds available to more students; and,
- revisions to several of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid are required, including a new interface to directly receive federal tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The e-Library's 2024-25 FAFSA Completion area is updated on a regular basis as details are released regarding the 2024-25 federal process for requesting financial aid.
Students and families seeking information can be directed to the Financial Aid: Completing the FAFSA area of ISAC's website – which will also be regularly updated as new information becomes available – and the Federal Student Aid studentaid.gov website.
By the End of May: ECACE Scholarship Application
The 2023-24 application for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program is anticipated to be available via the Applications area by the end of May.
Join "ECACE Administrators" Subscription Group
If you work directly with your approved institution's administration of the ECACE Scholarship Program – or if you simply are interested in receiving general announcements and processing updates regarding the program – be sure to join the "ECACE Administrators" e-Messaging subscription group.
Existing e-Messaging subscribers may join this group by clicking on the "Unsubscribe" link that appears at the bottom of all ISAC e-Messages, selecting the "ECACE Administrators" group in the listing that appears, and then clicking on "Update Profile."
NOTE: If you do not work directly with the administration of the ECACE Scholarship Program, please forward this message to the appropriate colleague(s) at your institution and encourage them to sign up for the "ECACE Administrators" e-Messaging subscription group.
- Individuals who may be interested in the "ECACE Administrators" group, but do not currently subscribe to ISAC's e-Messaging service, may sign up at the Financial Aid Administrators (FAAs) e-Messaging page.
By End of May: ING Grant Application
The interactive application for the 2023-24 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program is anticipated to be available for students to complete and submit online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal, and 2023-24 ING Grant eligibility data is anticipated to be available in the ING Grant system, by the end of May 2023.
Specific details regarding the ING Grant system, including important reminders and guidelines, are provided at the ING Grant Electronic Processing page.
By End of May: PFC Applications Available
We anticipate that the application for the 2023-24 Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire and Correctional Officers (PFC) will be available for students to access via the Applications page of the Students & Parents area by the end of May 2023.
June 1: Budget Data Due
The annual reporting of postsecondary institutions' budget information is underway, and colleges participating in the Monetary Award Program (MAP) and the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and ING Grant programs are to submit 2023-24 budget data to ISAC no later than Thursday, June 1, 2023. Further details regarding the budget reporting process are provided in an April 3 e-Message.
Hear an overview of what's new for the 2023-24 MAP, IVG and ING Grant budget reporting process – as well as an update from Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) staff on the 2023-24 budget reporting process for the Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Scholarship program – during webinars being offered on the following dates:
- Tuesday, May 16th – 10-11 a.m.
- Tuesday May 30th – 1-2 p.m.
Information regarding how to participate in the webinar is provided in a May 3 e-Message.
2023-24 FAFSA and Alternative Application Remain Available
The 2023-24 FAFSA remains available online, and – if not already done – should be completed and submitted as soon as possible by students who will be attending college between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for several forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance, including the MAP grant.
In addition, the 2023-24 Alternative Application is also available (in English and Spanish). Qualifying undocumented students may file the Alternative Application – which is patterned after the FAFSA – to apply for the MAP grant. Further details are provided at ISAC's Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act page.
ECACE Scholarship Summer-Term Claims Being Accepted
An April 17 e-Message announces that colleges may submit ECACE Scholarship payment requests (i.e., claims) for the summer 2023 term. Claims for all previous terms also continue to be accepted. Colleges will be notified once the priority claim deadline date for the summer term has been determined.
May 15: ECACE Applications Due
In order to request funding for the fall 2022, winter/spring 2023, and/or summer 23 terms, the 2022-23 ECACE Scholarship Program application process – which includes submitting both the 2022-23 ECACE Scholarship application and the 2022-23 FAFSA – must be completed no later than Monday, May 15, 2023.
May 26: IVG Spring Term Benefits Used Data Due
(Continue Submitting IVG and ING Grant Benefit Usage Data for All Terms)
The spring-term deadline for submission of benefit usage data for the 2022-23 IVG Program is Friday, May 26, 2023.
Even though the summer- (for the IVG Program) and fall-term (for the IVG and ING Grant programs) deadline dates have passed, as well as the spring-term deadline date for the ING Grant, colleges are still encouraged to submit benefit usage data for those terms as soon as possible.
Although ISAC is not able to reimburse institutions for 2022-23 IVG awards, reporting of benefits used must still take place so that usage can be accurately reflected on students' accounts.
June 15: ING Grant Summer Term Application Deadline
June 15, 2023 is the final date of acceptance for summer term applications for the 2022-23 ING Grant Program. Students may access the application via the Interactive Application (Apply Online) section of the Applications page, which is located within the Students & Parents – During College – Applying for Financial Aid area and may also be obtained via the "Applications" link that appears at the bottom of all pages on the ISAC website.
June 15: PFC Summer Term Application Deadline
June 15, 2023 is the final date of acceptance for the 2022-23 PFC application for the summer term. Students may access the application via the Applications page, which is located within the Students & Parents – During College – Applying for Financial Aid area and may also be obtained via the "Applications" link that appears at the bottom of all pages on the ISAC website.
June 15: Displaced Energy Worker Dependent Transition Scholarship Program Application Deadline
The application for the 2022-23 Displaced Energy Worker Dependent Transition Scholarship Program, which allows students to apply for awards to cover the entire 2022-23 academic year, must be submitted on or before June 15, 2023. The application may be completed and submitted via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal.
Continue Submitting Claims for MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Programs
- The third-term priority consideration claim deadline for these programs will be announced once it has been determined.
- Although the priority consideration claim deadlines have passed, colleges are encouraged to submit first- and second-term claims as soon as they are able to do so.
Submitting claims via the MTI and Golden Apple systems is a two-step process that involves first generating the request (either individually or in a batch) and then submitting the request. Further details are available in the MTI and Golden Apple user guides.
The timely submission of initial claims and cancellations/adjustments for previously-submitted data allows ISAC staff to monitor remaining MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple funds and award other students, as applicable.
All submissions of 2022-23 payment requests, including initial claims and supplemental claims, for ISAC-administered gift assistance programs must be received on or before July 1, 2023. Adjustments to cancel or reduce awards will be accepted after this date for MAP and the MTI Scholarship, Golden Apple, ECACE Scholarship, ING Grant and IVG programs.
Colleges are encouraged to continue the process of reconciling 2022-23 MAP, MTI Scholarship, Golden Apple and ECACE Scholarship data, which assists ISAC staff in determining whether sufficient funds will be available to pay late claims. Remember, due to the payment offset process, only data reconciliation activities should take place at this time. After ISAC determines that all payment processing is final, colleges with an outstanding amount owed to ISAC will receive an e-mail notice indicating the total amount to be returned. Until then, no funds should be returned to ISAC.
Specific details regarding close-out of 2022-23 ISAC-administered gift assistance programs will be provided via a separate e-Message as we move closer to July 1. In the meantime, continue to visit the Program News sections for individual gift assistance programs for status updates and operational details.
First Generation Scholars Network
Encourage your incoming students who will be the first in their family to earn a college degree to join the First Generation Scholars Network to get support and resources from ISAC, their peers, and colleges across the state. Students heading to their first year of college this fall will find events and programs that provide tools, resources, mentoring, and connections that can help make the transition easier.
ISAC and our First Generation Scholars Network mentors are available to work with colleges and universities to support existing campus programming for first generation college students and to collaborate to develop new student supports. Contact ISAC.FirstGen@illinois.gov to start the conversation on ways ISAC can partner with your campus for student success.
Further details are provided in a March 27 e-Message.
Online Resource Helps Students Find Leads for Summer Employment/Internships
Be sure your students who may be seeking summer employment or internships are aware of the "Internship and Summer Jobs" online resource, which may be accessed via the Toolbox area of the ISAC Student Portal.
The following monthly "ISAC Operational Update and Program News" webinars will be offered by ISAC staff throughout the second quarter of 2023:
- Wednesday, May 31 at 2 p.m. (CT)
- Wednesday, June 28 at 2 p.m. (CT)
Further details, including how to participate in the webinars, are provided in an April 13 e-Message.
June 22: Next Commission Meeting
The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 22, 2023. 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.
Visit the Commission Meeting Schedule page for information regarding all meetings scheduled in 2023.
July 13: 2023 College Changes Everything® Conference
Register today for the annual College Changes Everything® conference – DEIA: The Work We Need to Do – which will be an in-person event taking place on July 13, 2023, at the Tinley Park Convention Center in Tinley Park, Illinois. Further details are provided at the College Changes Everything conference website, as well as in a May 9 e-Message.
ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:
- Monday, May 29 – Memorial Day
- Monday, June 19 – Juneteenth
- Tuesday, July 4 – Independence Day
Staff will again be available the first business day immediately following each holiday.
Although ISAC staff will be unavailable on the days listed above, all systems for ISAC-administered programs within the GAP Access portal (including the MAP system) will be available during regularly scheduled hours and will reflect records processed by the Central Processing System (CPS) through the last business day immediately preceding each respective holiday.
Access the Financial Aid Administrators 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).
You are receiving this message because you registered for ISAC's e-Messaging service through one or more subscription groups for FAAs.
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@example.com.