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ISAC Update

VOL. 36, NO. 10F
April 2019

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
  ISAC Update Group

Welcome to the April 2019 ISAC Update for financial aid administrators and business officers. This version of the electronic ISAC Update is a compilation of e-Messages sent through ISAC's e-Messaging service throughout April.

The articles in this Update have been organized according to the FAA subscription groups to which the messages were distributed.

Questions?

Questions regarding information in this ISAC Update can be directed to School Services at 866.247.2172 or at isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov. On occasion, you may be directed to a specific contact person or area; when this occurs, we will provide the appropriate information in the individual article or message.


MULTIPLE SUBSCRIPTION GROUPS


2019-20 MAP Suspense Date: April 29, 2019
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on April 24, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).

ISAC is suspending the announcement of 2019-20 Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for applicants whose initial 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is received by the Central Processing System (CPS) on or after Monday, April 29, 2019.

Beginning as early as Tuesday, April 30, MAP records in suspense status will:

  • be reflected in the MAP system;
  • show on the appropriate screens and reports; and,
  • appear in the MAP Eligibility File Extraction.

Application Volume and Projected Claim Rates Being Monitored

When FAFSA filing commenced on October 1, ISAC staff began to monitor and analyze MAP application volume and projected claim rates. While fiscal year 2020 (FY20) appropriation projections thus far have been made based on the FY19 MAP funding level, the current administration has expressed support for increasing the MAP appropriation. ISAC staff will continue to monitor MAP application volume, claim rates, and budget negotiations. If future analysis indicates that a partial release of awards from suspense status is viable, we will communicate that information to the financial aid community as it becomes available.

2019-20 MAP Applicant Award Announcement Status Chart

The 2019-20 MAP Applicant Award Announcement Status Chart provides an overview of categories for students based on the initial application (FAFSA) receipt date.

Student Award Announcements

Colleges must suspend announcements of MAP awards to applicants whose initial 2019-20 FAFSA receipt date is on or after Monday, April 29, 2019. Please note that ISAC is not notifying affected applicants that their awards have been placed in suspense status. Colleges are advised to communicate announcement information to students with suspended awards as prescribed in school policy and procedure.

Identifying Records in Suspense Status

MAP records in suspense status will be indicated by a MAP Suspend Code of "S" (S = New application received after the suspense date will not be considered for an award this year) in the MAP system and in the MAP Eligibility File Extraction. The MAP system contains filters that will allow you to identify student records and create a report of those records placed in suspense status.

Check ISAC’s Website Periodically for Updates

As new information becomes available throughout the year, ISAC will continue to update the MAP Program News page within the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs section, which may be accessed via the Financial Aid Administrators area. Be sure to check back periodically for the current processing status of the program, including details regarding the recompute process that will take place after the FY20 state budget has been finalized.


Upcoming ISAC Webinars
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, MAP Users, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on April 17, 2019.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will offer the following webinars for financial aid administrators during the second quarter of 2019:

  • April 24 at 2 p.m. – ISAC Update and a Review of the Grant Programs for Dependents of Police/Fire/Correctional Officers
  • May 29 at 2 p.m. – A Review of GAP Access – Programs, Processes and Functionalities
  • June 26 at 2 p.m. – ISAC Operational Update – Closing Out 2018-19 and Preparing for 2019-20

To participate in these webinars, 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 webinars, and any specific questions you would like a webinar to address may be submitted via e-mail to Kimberly.Eck@illinois.gov prior to the session.


Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, MAP Users, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on April 12, 2019.

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)

2018-19 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019)

2019-20 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020)


GENERAL INFORMATION

June 13: 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 13, 2019, at the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago.

The Agenda Book, providing a complete listing of 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 2019.

July 18: 2019 College Changes Everything® Conference

The ninth annual College Changes Everything® Conference will take place on Thursday, July 18, 2019 at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Further details are provided in a December 13 e-Message. Registration for the conference will open in May.

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 offices will be closed for these holidays:

  • Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day
    ISAC offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 28.
  • Thursday, July 4 – Independence Day
    ISAC offices will reopen on Friday, July 5.

Processing Schedules

Although ISAC’s offices will be closed on the days listed above, the Monetary Award Program (MAP) component of the GAP Access portal 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 example: a MAP payment request submitted at 6 p.m. (CT) on Monday, May 27 will be processed the evening of Tuesday, May 28 – and payment results will be available via the MAP system the morning of Wednesday, May 29.

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 the ISAC offices are closed, ISAC staff will review and respond to messages during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT).


2018-19 ACADEMIC YEAR

April 15: IVG and ING Spring Term Benefits Used Data Due

The spring-term deadline for submission of benefit usage data for the 2018-19 Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant programs is Monday, April 15, 2019.

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 2018-19 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 a March 26 e-Message.

June 1: MAP Third-Term Claims and Increases to First- and Second-Term Claims Due

All 2018-19 MAP payment requests (claims) for the third term, as well as adjustments to increase previously-submitted claims for the first and second term, are due to ISAC on or before June 1, 2019. Colleges may submit claims via the GAP Access portal or by File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

Initial first- and second-term late claims will be held until after June 1, at which time analysis will take place to determine whether they will be paid.

Decreases to previously-submitted first- and second-term claims continue to be processed.

Further details are provided in a March 18 e-Message.

June 15: ING Summer Term Application Deadline

June 15, 2019 is the final date of acceptance for summer term applications for the 2018-19 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, 2019 is the final date of acceptance for summer term applications for the 2018-19 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.

July 1: Gift Assistance Programs Final Close-out Date

All submissions of 2018-19 payment requests, including initial claims and supplemental claims, for ISAC-administered gift assistance programs must be received on or before July 1, 2019. Adjustments to cancel or reduce awards will be accepted after this date for MAP.

Specific details regarding close-out of 2018-19 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.

MTI and Golden Apple Payment Request Submissions

The Teacher Education Scholarship Programs (TESP) component of My Zone that allows colleges to submit payment requests for the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois programs remains available for the 2018-19 academic year.

Payment request rosters are made available for colleges to complete and submit once the awarding process completes. Results for payment requests received will be available via TESP Payment Authorization after vouchers have been generated and the corresponding Voucher Numbers are entered into the My Zone system by ISAC staff. Vouchers are sent via e-mail to financial aid directors. Colleges are encouraged to check My Zone every week for results of previously-submitted payment requests. Further details regarding the payment process for the MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple programs are available in the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.


2019-20 ACADEMIC YEAR

2019-20 FAFSA® Still Available

The 2019-20 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, 2019 and June 30, 2020. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional financial assistance, including MAP grants.

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, several events – including financial aid presentations – are being offered across the State of Illinois. Students may attend the event that best fits their schedule.

Details regarding the 2019-20 application cycle may be accessed via the Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library.

During Month of April: Handbook of Illinois Postsecondary Institutions Data Collection

Be watching for the kick-off later this month of the annual data collection for the Handbook of Illinois Postsecondary Institutions. As has been the case in recent years, the collection will be done through an online survey process; the link will be provided to you via an e-mail message. When completing the online survey, please make sure your institution is included and that current information is provided.

The Handbook is a great way to promote your institution to potential students as they and their families are making the decision about which college to attend. The information collected for the Handbook is also used to update the Map of Illinois Colleges. Both the Handbook and Map are available online through the Students & Parents area of the isac.org website.

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

We anticipate that applications for the 2019-20 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 2019-20 processing cycle by June 1, 2019. Further details and instructions are provided in an April 1 e-Message.

Later This Spring: MAP Advising Data Collection

The collection of 2019-20 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).

Later this Spring: TESP Processing Moves to GAP Access

In preparation for the eventual transition of MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple procesing into the GAP Access portal (anticipated to take place later this spring), maintenance and analysis are being performed. As part of this preparation, every precaution is being taken to protect applicants’ personally identifiable information (PII), including Social Security numbers (SSNs).

Watch for future announcements regarding 2019-20 initial certifications, will be available in GAP Access.


Commission Meeting to be Held April 4 – No Executive Briefing
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on April 2, 2019.

The next regular meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 at the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago.

Some of the items on the tentative agenda for the meeting are:

The Agenda Book, providing the complete listing of agenda items, will soon be available via the 2019 Agenda Books page, located within the ISAC’s Governing Board: The Commission section of the About ISAC area of isac.org. The online Agenda Book will be updated within 1-2 days following the meeting to reflect action taken.

No Executive Briefing Conference Call

There is no Executive Briefing conference call planned following the April Commission meeting.


2019-20 Budget Data Due June 1
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, and MAP Users on April 1, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).

The annual reporting of postsecondary institutions’ budget information to ISAC is underway. This message provides details regarding the manner in which colleges participating in the Monetary Award Program (MAP) and the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant programs will submit required budget data for the 2019-20 processing cycle.

2019-20 Budget Data Due June 1, 2019

Colleges will submit their 2019-20 budget data online via the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal.

If a school’s annual budget is not final by June 1, the budget data is to be submitted with estimated figures, followed by an e-mail from the financial aid director to ISAC’s School Services Department that provides the approximate date by which the final budget will be submitted (must be on or before August 1, 2019).

General Institutional Information

Valid responses must be provided for Questions 1 and 2 of the "General Institutional Information" section. If you do not have a valid Program Participation Agreement (PPA), blank is a valid response. If Question 1 is checked, and/or a date is entered for Question 2, responses to all three questions are required before the budget can be certified. For Question 3, one of the buttons ("Yes" or "No") must be selected before the budget can be certified.

  1. Please check this box to confirm that this institution has a valid PPA with the U.S. Department of Education (ED). [Checkbox will appear here]
  2. This ED PPA expires: [mm/dd/yyyy field will appear here]
  3. Has your institution undergone a name or ownership change in the last 12 months? [Yes/No radio buttons will appear here]

Operational Details

  • Step-by-step instructions for accessing and navigating the GAP Access "School: Budget" screens are provided on the Gift Assistance Budget Instructions page, which is located in the Processes section of the Financial Aid Administrators area (and may also be viewed in a separate browser window via a link in the top right corner of the "School: Budget" screens). After logging in to GAP Access, only those staff members who have been granted appropriate privileges will be able to access the "Budget" option from within the "School" area of the system.
  • After the budget information for all approved codes and all approved programs has been entered, saved and confirmed, the financial aid director will need to submit the data by selecting the "Certify" button.
  • Budget data must be entered for each approved program (MAP, IVG and/or ING Grant), and each approved school code within a program, before it is certified.
  • All institutions must provide ISAC with a copy of their tuition refund policy, either by mailing a hard copy of the policy or by sending a scanned copy via fax (847.831.8327) or e-mail (isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov).
  • If you have questions concerning the online process of submitting budget data to ISAC, please contact a School Services Representative at 866.247.2172 or isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov.

Do You Want to Change How Your MAP Awards are Calculated?

Schools have a choice in how MAP term awards are calculated. Awards may be split evenly between terms or be split by whole dollar amounts. For example, if a semester school has elected to use the "cents" option, an annual award of $4521.00 is split evenly between terms as an award of $2260.50. If the school chooses to use the "no cents" option, the annual award of $4521.00 would be $2260.00 for the first term and $2261.00 for the second term. A definition of the "cents" or "no cents" option for quarter schools can be found at the above link.

The majority of schools calculate term awards by the "cents" option, but if you're interested in switching to the "no cents" option (or vice versa), simply send an e-mail message to isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov prior to June 1, 2019.

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ISAC UPDATE GROUP


March 2019 Electronic ISAC Update
Sent on April 1, 2019.

The March 2019 edition of the ISAC Update is now available for your review, and may be accessed via the Partner e-Messages & Newsletters section of the e-Library at isac.org. This version of the electronic ISAC Update is a compilation of e-Messages sent to financial aid administrators and business officers via ISAC’s e-Messaging service over the past month.

Topics covered in the March 2019 ISAC Update include:

  • Reporting IVG/ING Grant Benefits Used
    (sent March 26, 2019)
  • 2018-19 MAP Payment Updates
    (sent March 18, 2019)
  • Join ISAC at the 2019 ILASFAA Conference
    (sent March 12, 2019)
  • Reminder: Conference Proposals Due March 8th
    (sent March 4, 2019)
  • February 2019 Electronic ISAC Update
    (sent March 1, 2019)

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