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:
General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)
2019-20 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020)
2020-21 July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021)
As indicated in a January 6 e-Message, the 75-hour limit on Monetary Award Program (MAP) paid credit hours was lifted on January 1, 2020, which was the effective date of the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act. The removal impacts the spring semester/second and third quarters of the 2019-20 award year, as well as all terms in the 2020-21 and subsequent academic years.
Please note: The overall maximum of 135 MAP paid credit hours remains in effect. Providing this information to students can create an opportunity to counsel them on the importance of steady progression toward their education goals, so any future MAP eligibility is not exhausted before their degrees are completed.
March 9-11: ILASFAA Annual Conference
Mark your calendar for the 51st Illinois Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (ILASFAA) annual conference, which will take place March 9-11, 2020 at the Chicago Marriott in Naperville. For the latest updates, visit the ILASFAA website (ilasfaa.org).
April 9: Next Commission Meeting
The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
Specific details, including the meeting time and location and 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 a listing of all meetings scheduled in 2020.
July 9: 2020 College Changes Everything® Conference
(Submit Interest Session Proposals by February 28)
The annual College Changes Everything® Conference will take place on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. In order to receive priority consideration, interest session proposals for the conference should be submitted no later than Friday, February 28, 2020. Further details, including access to the online session proposal form, are provided in a January 14 e-Message.
ISAC offices will be closed for these holidays:
- Monday, January 20, 2020 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – Lincoln's Birthday
- Monday, February 17, 2020 – Presidents' Day
Our offices will reopen the first business day immediately following each holiday.
Although ISAC's offices will be closed on the days listed above, 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 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 the ISAC offices are closed, ISAC staff will review and respond to messages during regular business hours of Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT.
March 1: Spring Term Application Deadline for ING Grant
Remind your students that March 1, 2020 is the spring- and summer-term application deadline for the 2019-20 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program. 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). Applications received after March 1 will be considered for summer term only awards.
March 1: Spring Term Application Deadline for Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire, or Correctional Officers
Remind your students that March 1, 2020 is the spring- and summer-term award deadline for the 2019-20 Grant Program for Dependents of Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers. Students may access the application via 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). Applications received after March 1 will be considered for summer term only awards.
March 6: MAP Second-term Claims Due
In order to be considered for payment, all 2019-20 MAP second-term claims must be submitted to ISAC no later than Friday, March 6, 2020.
Remember that, because removal of the 75-hour limit on MAP paid credit hours took effect in the middle of the 2019-20 academic year, some students who were not MAP-eligible in the fall 2019 term now may be eligible for spring-term awards. Student records previously designated as ineligible [V code (reached 75 MAP paid credit hours)] within the MAP system should be reviewed and, if applicable, included with spring-term payment requests.
Further details may be found in a January 6 e-Message.
Late March/Early April: Spring-Term Benefit Usage Data Due for ISAC-Administered Military Programs
With the fall-term deadlines having passed in December, ISAC is accepting spring-term benefit usage data for the 2019-20 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant and Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) programs. Although ISAC is not able to reimburse institutions for 2019-20 military program awards, reporting of benefits used must still take place so that usage can be accurately reflected on students' accounts.
Benefit usage data for the ING Grant and IVG programs is submitted to ISAC by colleges via functionality within each program's system, allowing colleges to report students' enrollment hours and benefit dollar amounts for initial, in-district and out-of-district requests. Further details are provided in the ING Grant and IVG user guides.
While new data could potentially be available on a daily basis, the college may not have students that appear in the systems each day. It is recommended that the college check each program's system at least once a week for new student data that may have been posted for the 2019-20 academic year.
Data for the spring term will be due in late March or early April (colleges will be notified once a specific deadline date has been established for each program). However, colleges are encouraged to submit data as soon as they are able to do so.
See the January 8 e-Message for additional details.
Continue Submitting Payment Requests for MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Programs
Payment requests (claims) for the 2019-20 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois programs continue to be accepted for first and second terms. 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 an October 18 e-Message, as well as in the MTI and Golden Apple user guides.
In addition, colleges are encouraged to continue certifying eligibility for 2019-20 MTI Scholars. Remember that – effective with 2019-20 processing – the Golden Apple Foundation, rather than colleges, certifies eligibility for Golden Apple Scholars (colleges can see whether a student has been certified by viewing the "Student List Eligibility: View" screen within the Golden Apple system).
See the January 8 e-Message for additional details.
March 1: MTI Scholarship Application Deadline
(Application Anticipated to be Available Later this Month)
Remind your students who plan to pursue a career in teaching that March 1, 2020 is the priority application consideration date for the 2020-21 MTI Scholarship Program. Once available (anticipated for later this month), students will 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). Complete applications received after this date will be considered only if funding remains after all timely complete applicants have been awarded. Encourage all minority students who meet the program's eligibility requirements to apply as soon as possible.
March 1: Illinois SETTW Application Deadline
(Application Anticipated to be Available Later this Month)
Public four-year institutions: remind your students who plan to pursue a career in teaching that March 1, 2020 is the priority application consideration date for the 2020-21 Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program. Once available (anticipated for later this month), students will 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). Complete applications received after this date will be considered only if funding remains after all timely complete applicants have been awarded.
FAFSA® Still Available
The 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is still 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, 2020 and June 30, 2021. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for several forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance, including MAP.
Encourage your students to check out the Financial Aid Planning section of the Students & Parents area for information regarding resources that are available to help them complete the financial aid process. In addition, access is provided to a listing of several events – including financial aid presentations – that are being offered across the State of Illinois. Students may attend the event that best fits their schedule.
Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Available
As indicated in a January 6 e-Message, undocumented and transgender students meeting the criteria of the RISE Act may file the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid – which is patterned after the FAFSA – to apply for the MAP grant. Further details, including access to the application, are provided at the RISE Act page.
ISAC will create Alternative Application Student Records for students who complete the 2020-21 Alternative Application. Access the School File Layout Specifications document – which includes Alternative Application Student Record field names, field lengths, and start and end positions for each data element – via the Electronic Tools page of the e-Library for Partners.
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