JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC Program FY20 Funding – Budget Bill Approved


Governor Pritzker has signed SB 262, which will fund Illinois programs and services, including ISAC's programs for the 2020 fiscal year (FY20). SB 262 was approved by the General Assembly prior to the June 2nd adjournment of the spring legislative session and then forwarded to the governor for signature.

The bill is now considered law and is officially Public Act 101-0007. It contains appropriations as detailed below that will provide FY20 funding for ISAC programs to benefit Illinois students and their families.

FY20 ISAC Program Appropriations

Monetary Award Program (MAP) – $451,341,900
Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire or Correctional Officers – $1,273,300
Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program – $6,498,800
Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program – $1,900,000
Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program – $439,900
Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program – $264,000
Veterans' Home Medical Providers' Loan Repayment Program – $26,400
Grant Program for Exonerees* – $150,000
AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program** – $35,000,000

* never before funded
** disbursed in lump sums by ISAC to public universities

The budget also includes a little more than $4 million for the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) to reimburse Illinois community colleges for the costs associated with waiving tuition and fee charges for Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) recipients.

With the timely approval of the budget, ISAC FY20 program operations are expected to again experience a "business as usual" processing environment. As such, we will regularly provide updates and operational details regarding each of our programs as we proceed through the year.

New Initiatives

In addition to the budget, as part of other higher education activity, new initiatives involving ISAC were approved. Brief descriptions of the more significant of these are summarized below. As of this writing, these bills are all still awaiting action by the governor and their effective dates vary.

HB 2691 – known as the RISE Act – Provides that a student who is an Illinois resident and who is not otherwise eligible for federal financial aid, including, but not limited to, a transgender student who is disqualified for failure to register for selective service or a noncitizen student who has not obtained lawful permanent residence, would be eligible for State financial aid and benefits, including programs administered by ISAC, and assistance provided by public institutions. The bill would also prohibit any caps on MAP eligibility other than those required by statute, effectively eliminating an existing rule that bars a student from receiving MAP if he or she has used the program for more than 75 credit hours but has not yet attained junior standing.

SB 1167 – Community College Vocational Act – Requires ISAC to establish and administer an adult vocational community college scholarship program. The program would be for people over the age of 30 who have been unemployed and are actively searching for employment and who can identify the specific credential he or she is seeking. Note: This program is subject to appropriation and was not funded in the FY20 budget.

SB 1467 – Expands the eligibility requirements for the IVG Program and the MIA/POW Program [administered by the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA)] to include those who were a resident of Illinois for 15 consecutive years after leaving federal active duty service.

HB 2719 – Requires high school students to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) or other state financial aid application before receiving a diploma, unless students or parents opt out through a waiver process.

SB 1641 – Requires ISAC to include information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the language that schools are required to provide to students eligible for the MAP grant. At a minimum, the language would direct students to information about college student eligibility criteria for SNAP, and to the Department of Human Services and to the Illinois Hunger Coalition's Hunger Hotline for additional information.

HB 26 – Public University Uniform Admission Pilot Program Act – Establishes pilot programs at Northern, Western, Eastern, and Southern Illinois Universities for automatic admission to those universities for Illinois students who meet the universities' basic criteria (minimum test scores and preparatory curriculum) and either (1) graduate among their high schools' top 10% or (2) are the children of fallen police, fire, or correctional officers. ISAC is to develop rules regarding outreach to high school students who are potentially eligible for automatic admissions.

In the coming weeks, ISAC staff will review and analyze these new initiatives, and will provide information and guidance as appropriate through our normal communications avenues – this e-Messaging service, the Message Boards and the Program News pages of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area of isac.org.

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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 isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov.