JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC

05/20/2021

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)

2020-21 July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021)

2021-22 (July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022)

GENERAL INFORMATION

Upcoming Webinars

ISAC staff will offer the following webinars throughout the second quarter of 2021:

  • May 26 at 2 p.m. (CT) – A Review of ISAC's Teacher Programs and an Operational Update
  • June 30 at 2 p.m. (CT) – ISAC Program Review Process and Common Findings

Further details, including instructions for participating in the webinars, are provided in an April 22 e-Message.

June 17: Next Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, June 17, 2021. 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 2021.

Week of July 12: 2021 College Changes Everything® Online Conference

Mark your calendar for the annual College Changes Everything® conference – Fostering Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for the Success of All Learners – which will be a virtual event with online sessions throughout the week of July 12, 2021. Visit the College Changes Everything conference website, and watch for future e-Messages, for the latest 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.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Available for Eligible Households

The Emergency Broadband Benefit from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) helps eligible households afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting them to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and more. Further details, including eligibility requirements and instructions for requesting the benefit, are provided at the Emergency Broadcast Benefit page of the FCC website.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:

  • Monday, May 31 – Memorial Day
  • Monday, July 5 – 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.

2020-21 ACADEMIC YEAR

May 28: IVG Spring Term Benefits Used Data Due

The spring-term deadline for submission of benefit usage data for the 2020-21 Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program is Friday, May 28, 2021.

Colleges should continue to report benefits used for all current and prior terms (including the summer, fall and spring terms). Although ISAC is not able to reimburse institutions for 2020-21 IVG awards, reporting of benefits used must still take place so that usage can be accurately reflected on students' accounts.

Note that summer-term benefit usage data for the 2020-21 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program is due on the final close-out date of July 1, 2021.

Further details are provided in a March 29 e-Message.

June 15: ING Grant Summer Term Application Deadline

June 15, 2021 is the final date of acceptance for summer term applications for the 2020-21 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 & 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: PFC Summer Term Application Deadline

June 15, 2021 is the final date of acceptance for summer term applications for the 2020-21 Grant Program for Dependents of Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers (PFC). 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 Submiting Certifications and/or Claims for MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Programs

Payment requests (claims) for the 2020-21 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois programs continue to be accepted. Although specific priority claim deadlines have not been announced for these programs, 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.

In addition, colleges are encouraged to continue certifying eligibility for 2020-21 MTI Scholars. Remember that 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).

The timely submission of certifications, 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.

See the March 29 e-Message for additional details.

July 1: Gift Assistance Programs Final Close-out Date

All submissions of 2020-21 payment requests, including initial claims and supplemental claims, for ISAC-administered gift assistance programs must be received on or before July 1, 2021. 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.

Colleges are also encouraged to continue the process of reconciling 2020-21 MAP, MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple 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 2020-21 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.

2021-22 ACADEMIC YEAR

Now Available: ING Grant Application and Eligibility Data

A May 18 e-Message announces that the interactive application for the 2021-22 ING Grant Program is now available for students to complete and submit online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal, and that 2021-22 ING Grant eligibility data is available in 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.

By End of May: PFC Applications Available

We anticipate that the application for the 2021-22 PFC 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

A May 4 e-Message notifies colleges participating in MAP and the IVG and ING Grant programs that required budget data for the 2021-22 processing cycle must be submitted by June 1, 2021. Specific instructions are provided at the Gift Assistance Budget Instructions page, and via the Budget Reporting Process User Guide.

Early June: MAP Advising Data Collection

The collection of 2021-22 information regarding MAP advising/support programs and completion rate data will take place beginning in early June. Watch for specific details to be shared via ISAC's standard communication methods (i.e., the FAA Message Board, the MAP Program News area, and ISAC's e-Messaging service).

FAFSA® Still Available

The 2021-22 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, 2021 and June 30, 2022. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for several forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance, including the Illinois MAP grant.

Details regarding the 2021-22 application cycle may be accessed by counselors and other professionals via the Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library for Partners.

Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Available

Undocumented students and transgender students meeting the criteria of the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act may file the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid – which is patterned after the FAFSA and available in English and Spanish – to apply for the MAP grant. Further details are provided at ISAC's RISE Act page.

Continue Certifying Eligibility for MTI Scholarships Throughout the Year

Colleges are encouraged to continue certifying eligibility for 2021-22 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 a May 18 e-Message.

MTI Scholarship Applications Still Being Accepted

The 2021-22 MTI Scholarship Program application continues to be accepted, even though the March 1, 2021 priority consideration date has passed. Complete applications received after that date will be considered for the MTI Program only if funding remains after all applicants whose applications were timely and complete have been awarded. All minority students who meet the program's eligibility requirements should be encouraged to complete and submit the application as soon as possible.

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.