JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC

05/11/2020

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:

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

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)


COVID-19 RESOURCES AND UPDATES

Although we are working differently during this time, we want students, families, our partners and other constituents to know that ISAC continues to be here to answer your questions and to support all Illinoisans with college planning and financial aid. Find important resources and the latest updates at the College-Going and Financial Aid Resources and Services During the Coronavirus Outbreak page of our website.


GENERAL INFORMATION

May 27: ISAC Update Webinar
(Repeats on June 3)

An ISAC Update webinar will be offered for financial aid administrators on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 2 p.m. (CT), and will be repeated the following week on Wednesday, June 3 at 2 p.m. (CT). A webinar link and presentation materials will be available at the Partner Training page in the e-Library for Partners on the day of the session

June 18: Next Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is currently scheduled to take place at the Michael A. Bilandic Building (Chicago), starting at 1 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

If the COVID-19 situtation necessitates any changes – for example, moving the meeting to a virtual format, as was done for the April 28, 2020 Commission meeting – that information will be shared with the financial aid community.

Specific 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 a listing of all meetings scheduled in 2020.

2020 College Changes Everything® Conference Update

A May 7 e-Message announces that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the parameters of the recent Restore Illinois regional, five-phase plan to reopen Illinois, ISAC will not be hosting the in-person College Changes Everything (CCE) Conference® that had been planned for July 9, 2020. ISAC staff members are working to determine how we might best provide sessions and speakers to support efforts across the state that promote college access and success and career readiness for students. Watch the CCE website and this e-Messaging service for future updates.

Student Job Board Provides Leads for Summer Employment/Internships

Financial aid staff members are urged to promote the Student Job Board, which may be accessed via the Toolbox area of the ISAC Student Portal, to their students who may be seeking summer employment or internships. A variety of job types from all areas of the state are listed and are updated on a regular basis.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:

  • Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day
  • Friday, July 3 – Independence Day

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

Processing Schedules

Although ISAC staff will be unavailable on the days listed above, the Monetary Award Program (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.

For Assistance

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.


2019-20 ACADEMIC YEAR

May 29: IVG and ING Spring Term Benefits Used Data Due

The spring-term deadline for submission of benefit usage data for the 2019-20 Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant programs was extended to Friday, May 29, 2020.

Colleges should continue to report benefits used for all current and prior terms (including the summer, fall and spring terms for IVG benefits, and the fall and spring terms for ING Grant benefits). Although ISAC is not able to reimburse institutions for 2019-20 IVG or ING Grant awards, reporting of benefits used must still take place so that usage can be accurately reflected on students' accounts.

Further details are provided in an April 17 e-Message.

June 1: MAP Claims Due

All 2019-20 MAP payment requests (claims) submitted on or before Monday, June 1, 2020 – including previously-held late claims from the first and second terms – are being paid. 2019-20 MAP claims submitted after June 1 will be held as late, and paid only if available funds remain after payment has been made for all claims submitted by the June 1 deadline. Colleges may submit claims via the GAP Access portal or by File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

Decreases to previously-submitted claims continue to be processed.

Further details are provided in a March 26 e-Message.

June 15: ING Summer Term Application Deadline

June 15, 2020 is the final date of acceptance for summer term applications for the 2019-20 ING Grant. Students may access the application via the Interactive Application (Apply Online) section of the Applications page, which is located within the Students & ParentsDuring CollegeApplying 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: P/F/C Summer Term Application Deadline

June 15, 2020 is the final date of acceptance for summer term applications for the 2019-20 Grant Program for Dependents of Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers (P/F/C). Students may access the application via the Applications page, which is located within the Students & ParentsDuring CollegeApplying 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.

Continue Submitting Claims for MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Programs

Claims for the 2019-20 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois programs continue to be accepted for all 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.

July 1: Gift Assistance Programs Final Close-out Date

All submissions of 2019-20 payment requests, including initial claims and supplemental claims, for ISAC-administered gift assistance programs must be received on or before July 1, 2020. Adjustments to cancel or reduce awards will be accepted after this date for MAP and the MTI Scholarship, Golden Apple, ING Grant and IVG programs.

Specific details regarding close-out of 2019-20 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.


2020-21 ACADEMIC YEAR

By End of May: ING and P/F/C Applications Available

We anticipate that applications for the 2020-21 ING Grant and P/F/C programs will be available for students to access via the Applications page of the Students & Parents area by the end of May.

June 1: Gift Assistance Budget Data Due

Colleges participating in the MAP and the IVG and ING Grant programs must submit required budget data for the 2020-21 processing cycle by June 1, 2020. Further details and instructions are provided in an April 10 e-Message.

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 that are being offered for students. Typically, these opportunities would include in-person college planning and financial aid presentations but, during the COVID-19 pandemic, focus on weekly Facebook Live Events. Students may attend the event that best fits their schedule.

Details regarding the 2020-21 application cycle may be accessed via the Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library for Partners.

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.

In addition, an option was recently added to the online Alternative Application that allows dependent students experiencing special circumstances to indicate that they are "unable to provide information about my parents," and then continue with their application. If students select that option, a message advises them to contact the financial aid office at their school to discuss their circumstances. Further details are provided in an April 16 e-Message.

Continue Certifying Eligibility for MTI Scholarships Throughout the Year

Colleges are encouraged to continue certifying eligibility for 2020-21 MTI Scholars on a daily basis.

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.

Further details are provided in an April 20 e-Message.

Later This Spring: MAP Advising Data Collection

The collection of 2020-21 information regarding MAP advising/support programs and completion rate data will take place later this spring. Watch for specific details to be shared via ISAC's standard communication methods (i.e., the FAA Message Board, the MAP "Program News" section, and ISAC's e-Messaging service).

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 isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov.