JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC Update

VOL. 36, NO. 6F
December 2018

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
ISAC Update

Welcome to the December 2018 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 December.

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


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.


Limited Release of 2018-19 MAP Suspense
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on December 18, 2018.

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

The following information is being shared to assist colleges in the administration of the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Limited Release of 2018-19 MAP Awards in Suspense Status

When filing of the 2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) commenced on October 1, 2017, ISAC staff began to monitor and analyze MAP application volume and projected claim rates. Because a fiscal year 2019 (FY19) appropriation for MAP had not yet been determined at that time, appropriation projections were made based on the FY18 MAP funding level.

As is our practice, we have continued to monitor application and claim volume to determine if a partial release of awards from suspense status is viable. At this time, total claim volume for 2018-19 is lower than had been projected and lower than in prior years. As a result, ISAC is releasing 2018-19 MAP grants from suspense status for students whose initial FAFSA receipt dates were February 28, 2018 through and including April 4, 2018. These released records may be viewed in the MAP system starting on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. All 2018-19 MAP grants for eligible students with initial FAFSA receipt dates on or after April 5, 2018, remain in suspense status.

Identifying Student Records – MAP Filter/Report

Colleges will want to identify student records included in the limited release of suspense, as well as those that will remain in suspense status, for a variety of reasons (i.e., file review and repackaging, etc.). The MAP Student List Eligibility: View screen contains filters that allow you to identify both those groups of student records.

To identify student records released from suspense, create a listing of student records using a date range. For example, you can create a report that identifies students by application receipt date (i.e., the initial FAFSA receipt date) using the 2018-19 release from suspension dates (February 28, 2018 through April 4, 2018) to identify the records in that range.

The filter will also allow the user to create a report of those records that remain in suspense status.

Further details regarding identifying student records are provided at the Suspension of MAP Award Announcements page, located within the MAP section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.

Save the Date – 2019 CCE Conference
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 December 13, 2018.

CCE Conference Logo

Save the Date – Thursday, July 18, 2019

Please mark your calendars for the 2019 College Changes Everything® (CCE) Conference – the state’s premier college access and success event. This one day conference showcases effective practices, collaborations, and resources available to promote and support student college and career readiness and to help Illinois reach its Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025. The conference will take place at the Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, Illinois.

A call for conference interest session proposals will go out in January. Please consider submitting a proposal to help make the conference a valuable professional development experience by sharing your knowledge and experience with colleagues from all over the state.

One of the strengths of the conference is that it brings together the diverse stakeholders from across the state needed for student success: college access practitioners; high school leaders, counselors, and case managers; college and university leaders and administrators; employers and workforce development professionals; and policy makers and elected officials interested in education and student outcomes. The conference also serves as an opportunity for stakeholders to improve their practice of collaboration and collective leadership as we work toward the state’s goal.

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


Update: ISAC's Military Programs
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, and Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs on December 12, 2018.

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

The following message is to provide information that may assist colleges in their administration of the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant programs.

IVG System Enhancement

An enhancement has been made to the IVG system to provide colleges with the ability to view a student’s history of IVG benefit usage at all colleges that have reported this data to ISAC.

With the initial implementation of the IVG system, only the total number of IVG units that a student had used was available for view. Subsequent feedback received from users indicates that having access to a student’s full IVG history can be helpful when counseling student veterans and, as a result, that detailed historical information has been made accessible via a “Units Used” tab on the Student Eligibility: Detail screen.

Once a student appears on your college’s Student Benefit List, users can access a history of the student’s IVG benefits, as well as other individual student details, by selecting the Student Details icon that appears at the beginning of the student record (the graphic with the magnifying glass) on the eligibility list view.

Students who are interested in viewing their IVG benefit usage history can do so by logging into the ISAC Student Portal and checking their status via the IVG link on the ISAC Programs page.

For more information on how to navigate and use the IVG system, visit the IVG Electronic Processing page and/or the IVG User Guide (which will soon be updated to reflect the new enhancement).

Student Benefit List

The students that initially appear on a college’s Student Benefit List are those for whom an IVG benefit request was submitted to ISAC by the college in the last three academic years. Additional IVG-eligible students may be added to your college’s list through the "Add Student" screen, which has fields to enter the student’s name, Social Security number (SSN), and the ISAC-assigned IVG number (which can be found on the student’s IVG eligibility letter). You must enter at least two of the three student identifiers in order to search ISAC’s IVG database and add the student to your list. If your search does not provide a result, the student is either not eligible or not in ISAC’s database. If you are unable to locate a student who you believe should be in ISAC’s IVG database, please contact ISAC’s School Services Department for assistance at 866.247.2172 or isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov.

Submitting IVG and ING Grant Benefits Usage Data

2018-19 spring-term benefits usage data is now being accepted online via the IVG system and the ING Grant system.

While spring-term data for both programs is due in April (colleges will be notified once a specific deadline date has been established), you are encouraged to submit data for IVG benefits usage and ING Grant benefits usage as soon as possible.

Timely submission of benefits usage data will assist students by ensuring their records are accurate, which also helps colleges in cases where recipients of IVG or ING Grant benefits transfer schools. ISAC will continue to accept benefits usage data after each term's deadline date, but such data will be considered untimely.

A Holiday Wish from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (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 December 7, 2018.

Happy Holidays 2018

ISAC staff wish our college partners peace and joy during this holiday season.

As the new year approaches, we remain committed to serving you, your students, and all Illinois families by providing access to the information and financial assistance that can help students succeed in college.

Best wishes for a successful 2019.

ISAC's Holiday Schedule

In observance of the holidays, ISAC staff will be unavailable as indicated below:

Christmas Holiday Observation

  • After 2 p.m. (CT) on Monday, December 24, 2018
  • Tuesday, December 25, 2018

New Year's Holiday Observation

  • After 2 p.m. (CT) on Monday, December 31, 2018
  • Tuesday, January 1, 2019

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).

Processing Schedules

Click on the following link to access holiday processing schedules for Monetary Award Program (MAP) records.

MAP Records [System Availability (via GAP Access) and Payment Request Data]

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Electronic ISAC Update for November 2018 Now Available
Sent on December 3, 2018.

The November 2018 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 November 2018 ISAC Update include:

  • Commission Meeting to be Held Thursday, December 6 – No Executive Briefing
    (sent November 30, 2018)
  • Regularly Check My Zone for Latest School DAAR Reports
    (sent November 20, 2018)
  • New Illinois Career Pathways Dictionary Available
    (sent November 19, 2018)
  • Reminder: ISAC Strategic Planning Survey (Please Respond by November 9)
    (sent November 7, 2018)
  • Still Time to Register for ILASFAA Fall Workshop on November 9
    (sent November 1, 2018)
  • Electronic ISAC Update for October 2018 Now Available
    (sent November 1, 2018)

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