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ISAC Update

VOL. 37, NO. 4F
October 2019

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
ISAC Update

Welcome to the October 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 October.

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 MTI & Golden Apple Payment Processing
Sent to Financial Aid Directors and Financial Aid Administrators on October 18, 2019.

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

As previously indicated, 2019-20 awards have been announced for the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program and the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program (further details are provided in e-Messages dated September 4 and September 9). Colleges may view a student's award status by accessing the MTI and Golden Apple components of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal.

Payment Processing Has Begun

Initial payment request records are available online via the MTI and Golden Apple systems within GAP Access, allowing 2019-20 payment processing to commence for these programs.

With MTI and Golden Apple payment processing transitioning to GAP Access for the 2019-20 award year, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • School staff must have the appropriate level of access in order to submit payment requests in GAP Access. The school's primary administrator or a designated administrator is responsible for authorizing access levels.
  • Submitting payment requests in GAP Access is a two-step process, which involves generating the request (either individually or in a batch) and then submitting the request.
  • Because the Golden Apple Foundation completes certification for Golden Apple recipients, any adjustment to a student's academic level during the award year that would impact a student's award amount must be reported to the Golden Apple Foundation so that they can update the student's certification record. Once the certification record has been updated, the school will be able to submit a payment request for the updated award amount. The contact person at the Foundation is Cheryl Flores (flores@goldenapple.org).
  • MTI and Golden Apple results for payment requests received will be available via each program's online system (at GAP Access). After vouchers are generated, they are sent via e-mail to financial aid directors.
  • The disbursement of funds will be processed by the State Comptroller's Office. Refer to the State Comptroller's Website page, located within the Processes section of the Financial Aid Administrators area, for information on how to track payment.
  • Because Payment Offset and Reconciliation procedures now apply to the MTI and Golden Apple programs, schools should not send refund checks for cancellations/adjustments made throughout the award year. Funds should only be returned to ISAC after a final reconciliation has been completed at the end of the regular school year.
  • Although specific payment deadlines have not been established for these programs, schools are always encouraged to submit payment requests as soon as they are able to do so. Schools submitting payment requests and cancellations/adjustments in a timely manner allows ISAC staff to monitor remaining funds and award other students, as applicable.
  • MTI and Golden Apple payment functionality is available each day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (CT).
    • MTI and Golden Apple payment requests submitted by 7 p.m. (CT) will be included in that night's processing, with payment results available the next business day.
    • Results for payment requests submitted after 7 p.m. (CT) will be included in the following night's processing.

More information regarding online payment functionality, including detailed instructions, is available at the following locations on ISAC's website:

MTI

Golden Apple

Watch for Future Updates

Future program updates will be shared via the FAA Message Board, the MTI and Golden Apple "Program News" pages, and this e-Messaging system.


2020-21 MAP Start-up Implementation
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on October 8, 2019.

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

2020-21 Monetary Award Program (MAP) data – reflecting the start-up formula that was approved at the September 12, 2019 Commission meeting – is now available to access via the MAP system. All 2020-21 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) received by ISAC through (including) Monday, October 7, 2019 are available with their accompanying eligibility status information, and daily processing of 2020-21 ISIR and eligibility status information has commenced.

Processing Details

  • Following the 2019-20 MAP recompute formula, the 2020-21 start-up formula uses 2009-10 tuition and fees and has no reduction factor (maximum award is $5,340.00).
  • The MAP component of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal works best using Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher.
  • The GAP Access portal, including the MAP system, is available each day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (CT).

More Information Available Online

Notification to Applicants

  • Colleges are required to announce MAP awards to eligible students enrolled at their institutions.
    • Refer to the MAP Award Announcements page for details regarding college requirements, as well as samples of the required award letter language (as referenced above, under "More Information Available Online") and ISAC-generated notifications.
  • ISAC will mail letters only to students who are in a default status on an ISAC-guaranteed student loan.
    • A copy of the Default Resolution Options document, outlining how to regain federal and state student aid eligibility, is enclosed with each Default Status notification.
    • Notifications are dated and mailed after ISAC processes ISIRs.

Reminders

  • Given the likelihood that 2020-21 MAP award announcements will need to be suspended at some point during the processing cycle, it is recommended that colleges remind students to submit the 2020-21 FAFSA – which became available on October 1 – as soon as possible.
  • Encourage your students to visit the ISAC Student Portal to access these helpful resources:
    • 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.

"Get to Know MAP" Video Updated for 2020-21 Academic Year

ISAC's "Get to Know the Monetary Award Program (MAP)" video, which may be accessed via the Students & ParentsMAP page and the "Featured" section of the ISAC website home page, has been updated for the 2020-21 academic year. Be sure your students know this resource is available to view online.


2020-21 FAFSA® and Important Dates
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 October 2, 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)

2020-21 July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021) – New FAFSA® Now Available!

GENERAL INFORMATION

December 5: Next Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place Thursday, December 5, 2019, at 1 p.m. (CT) at the Michael A. Bilandic Building in Chicago.

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.

The tentative 2020 meeting schedule was approved at the September 12, 2019 meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, and will soon be posted at the Commission Meeting Schedule page.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC offices will be closed for these holidays:

  • Monday, October 14, 2019 – Columbus Day
  • Monday, November 11, 2019 – Veterans Day
  • Thursday, November 28, 2019 – Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday, November 29, 2019 – Day after Thanksgiving
  • Wednesday, December 25, 2019 – Christmas Day
  • Wednesday, January 1, 2020 – New Year's Day

Our offices will reopen the first business day immediately following each holiday.

Processing Schedules

Although ISAC's offices will be closed 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.

Click on the following link to access holiday processing schedules for MAP records.

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

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 of Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT.

2018-19 ACADEMIC YEAR

October 11: Enrollment Verification Data for ISAC-Administered Teacher Education Programs Due

Enrollment verification data, which is available at My Zone for students who previously received funds from the below ISAC-administered teacher education programs, is due to ISAC on or before Friday, October 11, 2019.

Further details are provided in a September 11 e-Message.

2019-20 ACADEMIC YEAR

December 6: MAP First-Term Payment Request Deadline

In order to be considered timely, 2019-20 MAP payment requests (claims) for the first term must be submitted to ISAC no later than Friday, December 6, 2019. Further details are provided at the MAP Payment area, as well as in an August 19 e-Message.

Report Benefit Usage Data for ISAC-Administered Military Programs

As originally announced in an August 19 e-Message, ISAC continues to accept fall term benefit usage data for the 2019-20 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant and Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) programs.

Fall term deadline dates are as follows:

  • ING Grant: December 6, 2019
  • IVG: December 27, 2019
    • Note that, although IVG benefit usage data for the summer term was due on September 27, 2019, colleges that have not yet done so are encouraged to submit summer-term data as soon as possible.

Benefit usage data for the ING Grant and IVG programs is submitted to ISAC by colleges via the benefit usage functionality within each program's system, allowing colleges to report students' enrollment hours and benefit dollar amounts for initial, in-district and out-of-district requests. Although ISAC is not able to reimburse institutions for 2019-20 ING Grant or IVG awards, reporting of benefits used must still take place so that usage can be accurately reflected on students' accounts.

Later This Fall: 2019-20 MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Payment Processing Begins

The online payment function within the MTI system and the Golden Apple system is anticipated to be available later this fall.

As updated information becomes available – including details regarding the specific date(s) on which the 2019-20 online payment function will become available for each program – it will be shared with you via our established methods of communication (i.e., the "Program News" area for the MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois programs, the FAA Message Board and this e-Messaging system).

Later This Year: Rosters Distributed for 2019-20 Payment Requests for Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire and Correctional Officers

Announcements of eligibility are being made to students as applications for the 2019-20 Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire and Correctional Officers (PFC) are received and processed. Certification of Enrollment for Payment rosters will be generated, allowing colleges to certify eligibility and request payment, later this year (after the October 1, 2019 full-year and fall-term application deadline has passed).

As updated information becomes available – including details regarding when the 2019-20 Certification of Enrollment for Payment rosters will be available – it will be shared with you via our established methods of communication (i.e., PFC Program News, the FAA Message Board and this e-Messaging system).

2020-21 ACADEMIC YEAR

Financial Aid Planning Resources Available for 2020-21 FAFSA® Cycle

The 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) cycle, including FAFSA on the Web, opened on October 1, 2019. CPS began processing 2020-21 FAFSA data on October 2. Details regarding the 2020-21 application cycle may be accessed via the Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library for Partners.

Encourage your students to check out the Financial Aid Planning area for information regarding resources that are available to help students complete the financial aid process. Several events – including FAFSA completion workshops – will take place across the State of Illinois over the next several weeks.

NOTE: In some instances, Illinois students who are not eligible for federal financial aid (and do not file the FAFSA) may apply for a State of Illinois MAP grant using the online Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act application. More information is available at the RISE Act page of ISAC's website. The RISE Act application – which is patterned after the FAFSA – will be available on January 1, 2020 for the 2020-21 academic year for students who meet the definition of "Illinois resident" as it applies to the RISE Act.

Early October: Anticipated Implementation of 2020-21 MAP Start-up

As announced in a September 16 e-Message, the 2020-21 Monetary Award Program (MAP) start-up formula was approved at the September 12, 2019 Commission meeting. It is anticipated that the 2020-21 MAP system will be available in early October.

As updated information becomes available, it will be shared with you via our established methods of communication (i.e., MAP Program News, the FAA Message Board and this e-Messaging system).

December 1: Priority Deadline Date for Returning MAP Recipients

A September 24 e-Message announces that the priority deadline date for returning MAP recipients is December 1, 2019.

Also included in the e-Message are changes to required school-issued award notification language, reflecting the elimination of the 75 MAP Paid Credit Hours cap (which takes effect on January 1, 2020), as well as other minor changes.

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ISAC UPDATE


September 2019 Electronic ISAC Update
Sent on October 1, 2019.

The September 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 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 September 2019 ISAC Update include:

  • 2020-21 MAP Updates
    (sent September 24, 2019)
  • 2020-21 MAP Start-up Formula Approved
    (sent September 16, 2019)
  • Teacher Program Enrollment Verification Data
    (sent September 11, 2019)
  • Commission Meeting to be Held Thursday, September 12 – Executive Briefing Friday, September 13
    (sent September 9, 2019)
  • 2019-20 Golden Apple Processing Update
    (sent September 9, 2019)
  • Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC
    (sent September 5, 2019)
  • 2019-20 MTI Awards Announced
    (sent September 4, 2019)
  • August 2019 Electronic ISAC Update
    (sent September 3, 2019)

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