JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC Update

VOL. 37, NO. 11F
May 2020

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
ISAC Update

Welcome to the May 2020 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


Reminder about ISAC Update Webinars for FAAs
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 May 26, 2020.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will offer an ISAC Update webinar for financial aid administrators on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 2 p.m. (CT), and will offer a repeat of the webinar the following week on Wednesday, June 3 at 2 p.m. (CT).

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


2020-21 Applications Update (ING Grant & PFC)
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, and Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs on May 18, 2020.

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

2020-21 ING Grant Application and Eligibility Data

Interactive Application Available at Student Portal

Effective today (Monday, May 18, 2020), the interactive application for the 2020-21 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 2020-21 application to apply for the fall 2020, spring 2021 and summer 2021 terms, with October 1, 2020 being the application priority consideration date for full-year and fall-only awards.

ING Grant Eligibility Data Available

2020-21 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 2019-20 Benefit Usage Data

In order to ensure that students' accounts reflect accurate data, colleges should continue to report 2019-20 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, in-district and out-of-district requests.

As a reminder, an April 17 e-Message announces that spring term benefit usage data for the 2019-20 ING Grant and IVG programs is due on or before Friday, May 29, 2020. Please submit your benefits used data as soon as you are able to do so (and no later than the July 1, 2020 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.

2020-21 Application for Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers

The application for the 2020-21 Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire, and Correctional Officers (PFC) is anticipated to be available for students to access via the Applications page of the Students & Parents area on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.


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 May 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).


2020 CCE Conference Update
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 May 7, 2020.

CCE Conference Logo

In-Person Conference Canceled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the parameters of the recent Restore Illinois regional, five-phase plan to reopen Illinois, we will not be hosting the July 9th in-person College Changes Everything (CCE) Conference®.

As we all continue to adapt, plan, and respond to the new challenges brought by the pandemic, we 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. Stay tuned for more details as we'll be providing updates on the 2020 CCE Conference website and in future e-Messages.

We understand this is a challenging time for schools, colleges and universities, and other organizations and their students and staff as they are adapting to remote learning and work environments, in addition to all the other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to visit ISAC's web page, entitled College-Going and Financial Aid Resources and Services During the Coronavirus Outbreak, for information on how ISAC can assist you and your students and families during the current circumstances.


2020 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


April 2020 Electronic ISAC Update
Sent on May 1, 2020.

The April 2020 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 for Partners 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 2020 ISAC Update include:

  • Virtual Commission Meeting to be Held Tuesday, April 28 – No Executive Briefing
    (sent April 24, 2020)
  • 2020-21 MTI Scholarship Update
    (sent April 20, 2020)
  • Spring Term Military Programs Claim Dates Extended
    (sent April 17, 2020)
  • Submission of Alternative Applications Without Parent Data – Dependency Status Override
    (sent April 16, 2020)
  • ISAC Update Webinar – April 22 and April 29
    (sent April 14, 2020)
  • 2020-21 Budget Data Due June 1
    (sent April 10, 2020)
  • March 2020 Electronic ISAC Update
    (sent April 3, 2020)

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