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)
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.
FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant, as well as several other forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance.
September 8: Session Proposals Due for FAFSA Symposium
ISAC invites college-access professionals to submit a session proposal to present at the 2023 FAFSA Symposium, which will be offered in central Illinois and the Chicagoland area in October and November (specific dates will be announced once finalized). Further details, including access to the Session Proposal Form (which will be available through Friday, September 8, 2023), are provided at the FAFSA Symposium page and an August 16 e-Message.
August 28: Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program Applications Due
The application for the 2023-24 Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program is available to complete and submit online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal. The priority application consideration date for the 2023-24 academic year is August 28, 2023. Complete applications submitted after that date will be considered only if available funding remains after all timely complete applicants have been awarded.
September 29: Summer-Term Deadline to Report Benefit Usage Data for IVG
IVG data for the summer term is due on or before Friday, September 29, 2023.
IVG benefit usage data is submitted to ISAC by colleges via the benefit usage functionality within the IVG system, allowing colleges to report enrollment hours and dollar amounts for initial, in-district and out-of-district benefit usage by students, as well as adjustments to previously-submitted data. Although ISAC is not able to reimburse institutions for 2023-24 IVG awards, reporting of benefits used must still take place so that usage can be accurately reflected on students' accounts.
November 15: Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program Applications Due
The application for the 2023-24 Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program is available to complete and submit online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal. The priority application consideration date for the 2023-24 academic year is November 15, 2023.
December 29: Fall-Term Deadline to Report Benefit Usage Data for IVG and ING Grant
Deadline dates are as follows:
- IVG data for the fall term is due on or before Friday, December 29, 2023.
- ING Grant data for the fall term is due on or before Friday, December 29, 2023.
Benefit usage data for the IVG and ING Grant programs is submitted to ISAC by colleges via the benefit usage functionality within each program's system, allowing colleges to report enrollment hours and dollar amounts for initial, in-district and out-of-district benefit usage by students, as well as adjustments to previously-submitted data. Although ISAC is not able to reimburse institutions for 2023-24 IVG or ING Grant awards, reporting of benefits used must still take place so that usage can be accurately reflected on students' accounts.
Now Available: Displaced Energy Worker Dependent Transition Scholarship Application
The application for the 2023-24 Displaced Energy Worker Dependent Transition Scholarship Program is available to complete and submit online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal. Students may use the 2023-24 application to apply for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 terms. The application priority consideration date for full-year and fall-only awards is October 1, 2023.
Now Available: Grant Programs for Dependents of Police/Fire/Correctional Officers Application
The application for the 2023-24 Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers is available for students to access via the Applications page of the Students & Parents area. Students may use the 2023-24 application to apply for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 terms. The application priority consideration date for full-year and fall-only awards is October 1, 2023.
Now Available: Grant Program for Exonerees Application
The application for the 2023-24 Grant Program for Exonerees is available to complete and submit online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal. Students may use the 2023-24 application to apply for the fall 2023 and spring 2024 terms (the grant is not available for summer terms). Applications are processed in date-received order ("first come, first served"). Because program funds are limited, students meeting the program's eligibility requirements should be encouraged to complete and submit the application as soon as possible.
Now Available: ING Grant Application and Eligibility Data
2023-24 ING Grant eligibility data is available for colleges to access via the ING Grant system. Specific details regarding the ING Grant system, including important reminders and guidelines, are provided at the ING Grant Electronic Processing page.
A June 16 e-Message outlines changes that have taken effect with the 2023-24 ING Grant application process, including the elimination of priority consideration dates by term and the requirement that applicants have a profile in the ISAC Student Portal.
Submit ECACE First-term Claims
An August 21 e-Message announces that ISAC is accepting 2023-24 Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program payment requests (claims) for the first term. Information regarding the payment process is available on the ECACE Payment page.
As a reminder, colleges may access 2023-24 prequalification data via the ECACE system.
Submit MAP First-term Claims
MAP Recompute Formula
As payment requests are submitted, remember that – at its June 22, 2023 meeting – the Illinois Student Assistance Commission approved a recompute formula that increases the maximum 2023-24 MAP award from $7,200 to $8,400 and the living allowance from $5,020 to $5,200. Additional details regarding the formula and its implementation are provided via e-Messages dated June 23 and June 26.
Continue Certifying Eligibility for MTI Scholarships Throughout the Year
As a reminder, the Golden Apple Foundation certifies eligibility for the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program. The college's role for the Golden Apple Scholars program starts with payment processing.
MTI Scholarship Applications Still Being Accepted
The 2023-24 MTI Scholarship Program application continues to be accepted, even though the March 31, 2023 priority consideration date has passed. Complete applications – including the 2023-24 FAFSA (or Alternative Application, if applicable) – received after this date will continue to be considered for the MTI Scholarship Program for as long as funding remains after all timely complete applicants have been awarded. All minority students and qualified bilingual minority applicants who meet the program's eligibility requirements should be encouraged to complete and submit their applications as soon as possible.
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.
ISAC Programs in the Wake of SCOTUS Decision
A July 31 e-Message provides a follow up to the joint letter from the Illinois higher education agencies, which was recently sent to college and university leaders and financial aid directors regarding the Supreme Court decisions invalidating certain race-conscious practices in admissions.
August 24: "Return to Repayment" Webinar
The U.S. Department of Education has announced that interest on student loans will resume starting on September 1, 2023, and payments will be due starting in October.
Join us from 4-5 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, August 24, 2023 for a free webinar regarding how student loan borrowers can prepare for repayment to resume. Further details – including how to register – are provided in a July 31 e-Message.
Further details and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on ISAC's Return To Repayment page.
August 30: Monthly Webinar
Plan to attend the following webinar for financial aid administrators:
- August 30 at 2 p.m. (CT) – ISAC Operational Update and Program News
To participate in this webinar, visit the Partner Training page in the e-Library at isac.org to access the webinar link and presentation materials, both of which will be posted on the day of the session. Registration is not required for the webinar.
September 21: Next Commission Meeting
The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 21, 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.
2023 College Changes Everything® (CCE) Conference Presentations Available Online
An August 3 e-Message announces that presentations and other materials from the 2023 College Changes Everything® (CCE) conference are available on the conference website. Additional presentations will be posted as they are received, so be sure to check back later if you do not find the presentation for a particular session.
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.
ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:
- Monday, September 4 – Labor Day
- Monday, October 9 – Columbus Day
- Friday, November 10 – Veterans Day (observed)
- Thursday, November 23 – Thanksgiving Day
- Friday, November 24 – Day after Thanksgiving
- Monday, December 25 – Christmas
- Monday, January 1 – New Year's 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. Results for MAP payment requests submitted from 5 p.m. (CT) the business day prior to the holiday through 5 p.m. (CT) the business day following the holiday will be available via the MAP system on the morning of the second business day after the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.