JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC Update

VOL. 36, NO. 11F
May 2019

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
  ISAC Update Group

Welcome to the May 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 May.

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


Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on May 28, 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

Early June: MAP Advising Data Collection Opens

The 2019 collection period for Monetary Award Program (MAP) Advising data – including advising and support program information and course completion rates – is expected to open in early June. As was the case last year, both components of the required data will be submitted at the same time of the year through the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs Access (GAP Access) portal. Complete information, including the due date, will be provided in an e-Message when the collection period opens.

June 24: Tentative Date for Next Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, originally scheduled for June 13, has been tentatively rescheduled for Monday, June 24.

Watch for more details – including confirmation regarding the meeting’s date, time and location, as well as information about an upcoming Executive Briefing conference call – to be announced once they have been finalized.

July 18: College Changes Everything® Conference

Register today for the ninth annual College Changes Everything® conference – the state’s premier college access and success event – which will take place on July 18, 2019, at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Further details are provided in a May 13 e-Message, as well as at the 2019 Conference page of the College Changes Everything website.

Training Opportunities

Upcoming Webinars

The following webinars will be offered through the end of June:

  • Wednesday, May 29 (2 p.m. CT): A Review of GAP Access – Programs, Processes and Functionalities
  • Wednesday, June 26 (2 p.m. CT): 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 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 questions you would like a webinar to address may be submitted via e-mail to Kim Eck (kimberly.eck@illinois.gov) prior to the session.

Financial Aid 101 & 201 Workshops

ISAC will offer Financial Aid 101 (for new financial aid professionals) and Financial Aid 201 (for more experienced financial aid administrators) Workshops on June 20 & 21 (Deerfield) and again on June 27 & 28 (Springfield). Further details – including access to online registration – are provided in a May 23 e-Message.

ISAC Student Portal Provides MAP Resources

Encourage your students to visit the ISAC Student Portal to access these helpful resources related to MAP grants:

  • MAP Estimator (located in the Toolbox area) – students planning to attend an Illinois college may use this tool to get an idea of their eligibility for the MAP grant, and
  • MAP Paid Credit Hours Display (located in the ISAC Programs area) – MAP grant recipients may use this option to track the number of MAP Paid Credit Hours they have used to date.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC offices will be closed for the following holiday:

  • 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 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 example: a MAP payment request submitted at 6 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, July 4 will be processed the evening of Friday, July 5 – and payment results will be available via the MAP system the morning of Monday, July 8.

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

Ongoing: Continue to Submit Benefit Usage Data

In order to ensure that students’ accounts reflect accurate data, colleges should continue to report 2018-19 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant and Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) benefits used for all current and prior terms, including summer. Use the GAP Access portal to report enrollment hours and benefit dollar amounts for initial, supplemental (adjustments), in-district and out-of-district requests.

Please submit your benefits used data as soon as you are able to do so (and no later than the July 1, 2019 final close-out date).

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

All 2018-19 MAP payment requests (i.e., claims) for the third term, and adjustments to increase claims for the first and second term, are due to ISAC on or before Saturday, June 1, 2019.

All 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. If analysis supports such action, late claims will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, colleges are encouraged to continue to submit initial claims for all terms. However, do not resubmit initial claims that have already been submitted, as the new (duplicate) record will overlay the previous record and the submission date will be changed to the later date.

Note that decreases to previously-submitted first- and second-term claims continue to be processed.

Visit the MAP Payment page, located within the MAP section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area, for more information regarding the claims process.

June 7: Last Date ISIR Data Will Be Accepted

June 7, 2019 will be the last day 2018-19 Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) data will be received at ISAC and accepted for MAP.

June 15: Summer Term Application Deadline for ING Grant

Remind your students that June 15, 2019 is the final date on which the interactive application for the 2018-19 ING Grant will be accepted for the summer term. 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.

June 15: Summer Term Application Deadline for Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire, or Correctional Officers

Remind your students that 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. 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: Final Close-out Date for ISAC Gift Assistance Programs

All submissions of 2018-19 payment requests and/or data for benefits used (including initial claims and supplemental claims) for the following ISAC-administered gift assistance programs must be received on or before July 1, 2019 (click on the following links to access information for each program):

Continue to visit the Program News sections for individual gift assistance programs, and watch for future e-Messages, for status updates and operational details.

Month of August: 2018-19 MAP Component Available for Historical View Only

During the month of August 2019, the 2018-19 MAP component of the GAP Access portal will become available for historical view only.


2019-20 ACADEMIC YEAR

State Budget Not Yet Finalized

Discussions and planning are currently underway regarding the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) state budget. Because numerous proposals may be considered before the FY20 budget is finalized by the Illinois General Assembly and the governor, it is unknown what direction the negotiations may take and how funding for ISAC programs may be impacted. As is our practice, however, we will move forward as necessary with planning for the administration of our programs in the 2019-20 academic year and, when appropriate, with operational activities.

Be sure to regularly visit the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area, where a "Program News" section for each program provides the most up-to-date information.

Now Available: ING Grant Application and Eligibility Data

A May 16 e-Message announces that the interactive application for the 2019-20 ING Grant Program is now available for students to access via the Applications page of the Students & Parents area, and that 2019-20 ING Grant eligibility data is available in the ING Grant system of the GAP Access portal.

Specific details regarding the ING Grant system, including important reminders and guidelines, are provided at the ING Grant Electronic Processing page.

Now Available: Grant Programs for Dependents of Police/Fire/Correctional Officers Application

The application for the 2019-20 Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers is available for students to access via the Applications page of the Students & Parents area.

June 1: Budget Data Due

On or before June 1, 2019, all participating Illinois schools must report 2019-20 Gift Assistance Budget data (for MAP, the IVG Program and the ING Grant Program) via GAP Access. Specific details regarding how to submit 2019-20 budget data are provided in an April 1 e-Message.

Early Summer: Annual Collection of Data for Handbook of Illinois Postsecondary Institutions

The annual collection of data for the Handbook of Illinois Postsecondary Institutions will be opening soon. The online Handbook provides students and their families with admission and financial aid information about Illinois institutions to aid in their college decision-making process. To obtain the information included in the online Handbook, which is also used to update the Map of Illinois Colleges, we will shortly be sending e-mail messages to the financial aid directors of all colleges listed in the Handbook. The e-mail will contain a link to the online 2019-20 Handbook survey and will provide the due date for information to be returned. Watch for its arrival soon.

Ongoing: Certify Eligibility for MTI Scholarships via the GAP Access Portal

A May 15 e-Message announces that colleges may certify eligibility for the 2019-20 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program via a new MTI system, which is accessed via the GAP Access portal.

  • All certification records available in the MTI system must be completed, regardless of whether the college certifies a student as eligible or ineligible and regardless of whether the student is currently enrolled.
    • The only way applicants will receive notification from ISAC regarding their eligibility status is if their colleges have submitted the certification data via the MTI system.
  • Continue certifying eligibility throughout the year, in order to ensure that your students will be included in any rounds of awarding that take place.
    • The schedule for awarding 2019-20 MTI Scholars will be dependent upon the status of the FY20 state budget.

MTI Applications Still Being Accepted (Now Available Online at the ISAC Student Portal)

Although the 2019-20 priority consideration application deadline for the MTI Scholarship Program was March 1, 2019, applications will continue to be accepted for as long as funding remains after all timely qualified applicants have been awarded. Students may access the online application via the ISAC Programs area of the ISAC Student Portal.

FAFSA® Remains Available

Although ISAC has suspended the announcement of 2019-20 MAP grants to all students whose initial 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is received by the federal processor on or after April 29, 2019, the 2019-20 FAFSA remains available online. Students who will be attending college between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 should be encouraged to complete and submit the 2019-20 FAFSA as soon as possible, if they have not already done so. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for other forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance. The suspension of 2019-20 MAP award announcements does not impact any other financial aid programs.

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


Announcing Dates for ISAC's Financial Aid 101 & 201 Workshops
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on May 23, 2019.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will offer the following financial aid workshops for financial aid administrators in June.

Financial Aid 101 Workshops

This free, full-day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) workshop is designed to introduce new financial aid professionals to financial aid concepts, programs, and processes and help them develop a solid foundation on which to build their careers. It will be offered on the following dates:

Financial Aid 201 Workshops

ISAC’s Financial Aid 201 Workshop is intended for more experienced financial aid administrators who are already familiar with the basics. This free, full-day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) workshop will focus on the topics of verification, professional judgment, satisfactory academic progress, and state and federal program reviews. Dates and locations are:

For details on the Financial Aid 101 and Financial Aid 201 workshop agendas, visit the Partner Training page in the e-Library (which may be accessed via isac.org).

To register for these workshops, click on the date/location listed above and follow the link to the registration page.

Additional details regarding directions, parking, room location, and the agenda will be provided in an e-mail to registered participants a few days prior to each workshop.

Questions may be directed to Kimberly.Eck@illinois.gov.


ING Grant Information
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, and Business Officers on May 16, 2019.

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

ING Grant Interactive Application Available at Student Portal

Effective today (Thursday, May 16, 2019), the interactive application for the 2019-20 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program is available for students to complete and submit online via the ISAC Programs area of the ISAC Student Portal. Eligible students may use the 2019-20 application to apply for the fall 2019, spring 2020 and summer 2020 terms, with October 1, 2019 being the application priority consideration date for full-year and fall-only awards.

ING Grant Eligibility Data Available

2019-20 ING Grant eligibility data is now available via the ING Grant system.

The ING Grant eligibility data includes information for each applicant who has applied for the ING Grant with your institution listed as the college of record, and for whom the Department of Military Affairs in Illinois (DMAIL) has confirmed eligibility as of the "Certified Eligible" date.

Specific details regarding the ING Grant system, including important reminders and guidelines, are provided at the ING Grant Electronic Processing page.

The ING Grant system is available each day from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. (CT).

Reminder: Continue to Submit 2018-19 Benefit Usage Data

In order to ensure that students’ accounts reflect accurate data, colleges should continue to report 2018-19 ING Grant and Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) benefits used for all current and prior terms, including summer. Use the GAP Access portal to report enrollment hours and benefit dollar amounts for initial, supplemental (adjustments), in-district and out-of-district requests.

Please submit your benefits used data as soon as you are able to do so (and no later than the July 1, 2019 final close-out date).

Questions?

If college staff or GAP Access administrators have problems accessing the ING Grant functions, or have questions regarding the online system, they should contact ISAC’s School Services Department as indicated below.

As always, refer to the ING Grant Program News area for the most up-to-date information.


2019-20 MTI Scholarship Information
Sent to Financial Aid Directors and Financial Aid Administrators on May 15, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message may be accessed via the Financial Aid Administrators area at ISAC’s website (isac.org).

Certify Eligibility for MTI Scholarships via the GAP Access Portal

Effective today (Wednesday, May 15, 2019), colleges may certify eligibility for the 2019-20 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program via a new MTI system [which is accessed via the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal]. All 2019-20 MTI processing will be done via the MTI system at GAP Access (rather than via My Zone, as was used for prior-year processing).

Continue Certifying Eligibility Throughout the Year

  • Colleges are encouraged to continue certifying eligibility for MTI Scholars on a daily basis.
    • Separate notification will not be sent when new records are made available in the MTI system.
  • All certification records available in the MTI system must be completed, regardless of whether the college certifies a student as eligible or ineligible and regardless of whether the student is currently enrolled.
    • The only way applicants will receive notification from ISAC regarding their eligibility status is if their colleges have submitted the certification data via the MTI system.
  • Continue certifying eligibility throughout the year, in order to ensure that your students will be included in any rounds of awarding that take place.
    • The schedule for awarding 2019-20 MTI Scholars will be dependent upon the status of the fiscal year 2020 state budget.

Online Resources

Specific details regarding the MTI system, including instructions for certifying eligibility and how to access reports, are provided via the MTI Electronic Processing page.

The MTI system is available each day from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. (CT).

Accessing the MTI System

The GAP Access Primary Administrator (typically, the financial aid director) must set MTI privileges for financial aid staff who need to view and/or edit data in the MTI system.

May 29 Webinar: A Review of GAP Access – Programs, Processes and Functionalities

Plan to participate in the "A Review of GAP Access – Programs, Processes and Functionalities" webinar, which will take place on Wednesday, May 29 at 2 p.m. (CT), and will include a review of the MTI system in GAP Access. Specific webinar participation details can be found in an April 17 e-Message. Registration is not required for the webinar, and any questions you would like the webinar to address may be submitted via e-mail to Kimberly.Eck@illinois.gov prior to the session.

MTI Scholarship Application Available at Student Portal

Effective immediately, the application for the 2019-20 MTI Scholarship Program may be completed online via the ISAC Programs area of the ISAC Student Portal.

  • After entering and submitting their data via the online application, students must follow the on-screen instructions to print the application, sign it, and mail it to ISAC.
    • The application is not complete until the Application/Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, with an original ink signature, is received at ISAC.
  • Although the 2019-20 priority consideration application deadline for this program was March 1, 2019, eligible students may still apply.
    • Complete applications postmarked after March 1 will continue to be considered for as long as funding remains after all timely qualified applicants have been awarded.
    • The date through which 2019-20 MTI Scholarship applications will be accepted is dependent upon application volume and available funding.

Watch for Future Updates

Watch for further updates from ISAC – including information regarding 2019-20 MTI awarding and payment processing, and the availability of a Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program system within the GAP Access portal – via ISAC’s usual methods of communication (including the MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple "Program News" areas, the FAA Message Board, and this e-Messaging service.


2019 CCE Conference Registration Open
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on May 13, 2019.

CCE Conference Logo

Registration Now Open!

2019 College Changes Everything® Conference

July 18, 2019 • 8 am - 4:30 pm

Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, Illinois

CCE 2019: Expanding Success for All Students – Every Community’s Responsibility

Register now to attend the ninth annual College Changes Everything® (CCE) conference – the state’s premier college access and success event. This one day conference focuses on effective practices and showcases resources available to help with increasing access to postsecondary education, college completion, and career readiness. The conference also supports the state’s Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality college degrees and postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025. Registration is $40.00, and only credit card payments are accepted. Space is limited and fills quickly. Please share this e-Message with your colleagues so they can register, too. More information about the conference is available on the conference website.

Who Should Attend

One of the key strengths of this conference is that it brings together a diverse audience of stakeholders from across the state for a day of dialogue and sharing information, ideas, and best practices that promote access to postsecondary education, ensure degree or credential attainment, and provide career pathways. Attendees typically include, but are not limited to:

  • high school leaders, counselors, and case managers
  • college access practitioners
  • college and university leaders and administrators
  • leaders from state agencies, non-profits, foundations, and community-based organizations focused on educational opportunity and attainment and career pathways
  • business leaders
  • policymakers and elected officials interested in higher education and workforce development

The conference also serves as an opportunity for participants to renew existing relationships and develop new ones while improving collective leadership as we work toward Goal 2025.

Sessions

Breakout interest sessions provide timely information and engage the audience in thoughtful discussions on the serious issues we face in reaching the state goal, and are presented by state and national experts and practitioners. Topics include:

  • college readiness
  • navigating the college-going process
  • after school programs
  • supporting special student populations
  • mentoring programs
  • student support services
  • remediation
  • career readiness
  • connecting students and employers
  • and more


Celebrate ISACorps 10th Anniversary

At the conference we will also recognize the tenth anniversary of the Illinois Student Assistance Corps, or ISACorps, our statewide outreach and near-peer mentoring program. As we all know, simply making financial or informational resources available is not enough to truly provide opportunity for our underrepresented students. For the past decade the ISACorps has been helping students from families without college-going experience by providing additional support to navigate the complex process of planning and preparing for postsecondary success. The ISACorps is the largest statewide near-peer mentoring program in the country, annually serving more than 150,000 students and parents in every community in Illinois. ISACorps members are recruited as they graduate from college and make a two-year service commitment to the state. These talented college graduates are as diverse as Illinois and spend their days (and nights, and weekends) helping families understand the education-to-career pipeline and complete the admission and financial aid processes. ISAC is currently recruiting for the 2019-20 ISACorps, with a start date of June 2019. If you know of any recent college grads or those about to graduate interested in helping others in navigating the college going process, please encourage them to apply online at the ISAC Career Center.

Tinley Park Convention Center

The Tinley Park Convention Center is located just 30 miles from downtown Chicago and is connected to the Holiday Inn Chicago-Tinley Park. The address is 18451 Convention Center Drive, Tinley Park, IL 60477.

2019 College Changes Everything Conference Planning Committee

  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Illinois Community College Board
  • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Illinois College Access Network
  • Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities
  • Advance Illinois
  • Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University
  • Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University
  • Generations Serving Generations
  • ACT Now
  • Women Employed


The College Changes Everything® Conference is sponsored
by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Helping Illinois reach its Goal 2025: to increase the proportion
of adults in Illinois with high-quality college degrees and
postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025


CCE

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ISAC UPDATE GROUP


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

The April 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 April 2019 ISAC Update include:

  • 2019-20 MAP Suspense Date: April 29, 2019
    (sent April 24, 2019)
  • Upcoming ISAC Webinars
    (sent April 17, 2019)
  • Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC
    (sent April 12, 2019)
  • Commission Meeting to be Held April 4 – No Executive Briefing
    (sent April 2, 2019)
  • 2019-20 Budget Data Due June 1
    (sent April 1, 2019)
  • March 2019 Electronic ISAC Update
    (sent April 1, 2019)

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