JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC Update

VOL. 38, NO. 2F
August 2020

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
ISAC Update

Welcome to the August 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 August.

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


2020-21 IVG & ING Grant Benefit Usage
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, and Business Officers on August 26, 2020.

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

This message provides information regarding the 2020-21 benefit usage reporting cycle for the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant programs.

IVG and ING Grant Benefits Used Data Being Accepted

Effective August 26, 2020, ISAC is accepting benefit usage data for the 2020-21 IVG summer and fall terms, and for the 2020-21 ING Grant fall term.

In order to be considered timely:

  • IVG benefit usage data for the summer term must be submitted on or before Wednesday, September 30, 2020;
  • IVG benefit usage data for the fall term must be submitted on or before Thursday, December 31, 2020; and,
  • ING Grant benefit usage data for the fall term must be submitted on or before Friday, December 11, 2020.

Reminders

  • Benefit usage data for the IVG and ING Grant programs is submitted to ISAC by colleges via the benefit usage functionality within each program's system. Colleges report enrollment hours and dollar amounts for initial, in-district and out-of-district benefit usage by students, as well as adjustments to previously-submitted data.
  • Although ISAC is not able to reimburse institutions for 2020-21 IVG or ING Grant awards, reporting of benefits used must still take place so that usage can be accurately reflected on students' accounts.
  • 160-byte file layout specifications for the 2020-21 IVG and ING Grant, describing the file layout to be used to send data for each program via FTP, are available within the Electronic Tools section of the e-Library for Partners.
  • Colleges are encouraged to regularly check their Benefits Results report for each program. Further details are provided in the IVG and ING Grant user guides.

Resources Available Online

More information, including detailed instructions, is available at the following locations:

GAP Access Reminders

  • Please verify that the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access Administrator at your college has established the appropriate program system (IVG and/or ING Grant) access level for all impacted staff. Instructions for establishing access to the appropriate system(s) may be found on the GAP Access page.
  • A valid GAP Access user ID and password are required in order to submit files via ISAC’s Secure File Transfer System (located at https://transfer.isac.org/). As a result, encryption (password protection) of files is not necessary.

Watch for Future Updates

Future updates regarding ISAC's military programs will be announced via our usual means of communication (i.e., the FAA Message Board, this e-Messaging system, and/or the IVG and ING Grant "Program News" pages).


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 August 21, 2020.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will offer the following webinars for financial aid administrators:

  • August 26 at 2 p.m. – An ISAC Update and An Overview of ISAC's Military Programs
  • September 23 at 2 p.m. – An Overview of the 2021-22 FAFSA and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid
  • September 30 at 2 p.m. – An Overview of the 2021-22 FAFSA and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid (repeat of September 23 webinar)
  • October 28 at 2 p.m. – An Overview of ISAC's Teacher Programs and the Grant Programs for Dependents of Police/Fire/Correctional Officers

All times are Central.

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.


2020-21 Golden Apple and MTI Updates
Sent to Financial Aid Directors and Financial Aid Administrators on August 20, 2020.

Availability of Golden Apple Student Records, and Second Round of MTI Awarding

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

Student Records Available to View in the Golden Apple System

Effective immediately, colleges may view a listing of their institution's potential 2020-21 Golden Apple Scholars, as reported by the Golden Apple Foundation, via the "Student List Eligibility: View" screen within the Golden Apple system. As a reminder, effective since the 2019-20 processing cycle, all Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program processing takes place using the Golden Apple system.

All users need a valid GAP Access ID and password to access the Golden Apple system. ISAC relies on a designated Primary Administrator (usually, the Financial Aid Director) at each institution to authorize users and provide them with the appropriate level of access for each ISAC program, including Golden Apple. Further details may be found in the GAP Access User Guides, and questions may be directed to ISAC's School Services Department.

Reminders

  • Student eligibility is certified by the Golden Apple Foundation, rather than by the college.
  • Once a student has been certified as eligible by the Golden Apple Foundation, their award will immediately appear on the "Student List Eligibility: View" screen within the Golden Apple system.
  • To assist colleges as they administer the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program on their campuses, "Eligible Indicators" are available in the system.

Resources Available Online

Resources regarding this program are available in the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.

The Golden Apple User Guide may be accessed via the Golden Apple Electronic Processing page of the FAA – Processes area.

Second Round of MTI Awarding

A second round of awarding for the 2020-21 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program took place on Thursday, August 20, 2020, for qualified timely applicants (new and renewal). The first round of awarding (for qualified timely renewal applicants only) took place earlier this month.

Information regarding the MTI awarding process can be accessed via the MTI Scholarship section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area, as well as at the MTI Electronic Processing page (which includes the MTI User Guide) of the FAAs – Processes area.

Watch for Future Updates

Future updates – including details regarding payment processing for 2020-21 Golden Apple Scholars (which is anticipated to take place in the fall of 2020), and future rounds of 2020-21 MTI Scholarship awarding (if any) – will be shared via the usual means of communication (i.e., the FAA Message Board, the "Program News" sections for the Golden Apple and MTI programs, and/or ISAC's e-Messaging system).


New Financial Aid 201 Sessions Scheduled and Financial Aid 101 Sessions Repeated
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 August 14, 2020.

Brought to You by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)

We are pleased to announce that ISAC's Financial Aid 201 webinar series (for experienced financial aid professionals) will be offered during the month of August. In addition, throughout August we will also be repeating our Financial Aid 101 sessions (for newer staff).

Listed below are the dates and times for the upcoming Financial Aid 101 and 201 sessions. To allow time for discussion during the sessions, registration will be limited.

To register for a specific session, click on its corresponding "Register Now" button and then complete the online registration form.

Financial Aid 101 Sessions
SessionDescriptionDateTime*Register
Introduction to Financial Aid and a Review of the FAFSA® Process This session is designed to introduce financial aid professionals to types and sources of financial aid, the guiding principles and processes, and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Thursday,
August 20, 2020
10-11 a.m. Register Now
ISAC's Scholarship and Grant Programs and the Application Process This session will give participants an in-depth overview of ISAC's programs and the application process for each one. Thursday,
August 20, 2020
2-3 p.m. Register Now
Need Analysis This session will introduce participants to the general concepts of need analysis and the formulas used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Friday,
August 21, 2020
10-11 a.m. Register Now
An Overview of the Monetary Award Program (MAP) This session will provide an overview of MAP, which is administered by ISAC. Attendees will learn about the eligibility criteria, payment processing and reports on GAP Access. Friday,
August 21, 2020
2-3 p.m. Register Now
RISE Act & Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid During this session, participants will learn about the RISE Act eligibility criteria, and the Alternative Application process and other relevant updates. Tuesday,
August 25, 2020
10-11 a.m. Register Now
An Overview of IVG and ING This session will provide an overview of IVG and ING, which are administered by ISAC. Attendees will learn about the eligibility criteria, payment processing and reports on GAP Access. Tuesday,
August 25, 2020
2-3 p.m. Register Now
An Overview of MTI, GA, SETTW, and PFC This session will provide an overview of the MTI, GA, SETTW, and PFC programs, which are administered by ISAC. Attendees will learn about the eligibility criteria, payment processing and reports available on GAP Access. Thursday,
August 27, 2020
10-11 a.m. Register Now
GAP Access Programs, Processes and Functionalities ISAC's Gift Assistance Programs Access (or GAP Access) is the portal through which online interactions are conducted for the purpose of data inquiries and submissions, eligibility announcements and payment requests for ISAC-administered programs. This session will provide an overview of the processes and functionalities of GAP Access. Thursday,
August 27, 2020
2-3 p.m. Register Now
FTP Processing This session will provide an overview of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) process. Participants will learn the process of transmitting payment requests and cancellations in batch file format. Monday,
August 31, 2020
10-11 a.m. Register Now
Overview of ISAC Resources This session will give participants an in-depth overview of the resources offered through ISAC. It will explore the host of tools available on ISAC's website (isac.org). Monday,
August 31, 2020
2-3 p.m. Register Now

Financial Aid 201 Sessions
SessionDescriptionDateTime*Register
Verification & Confirming Illinois Residency This session will review the federal process of verification and address how it applies to ISAC programs as well. In addition, the session will review the guidelines for confirming Illinois residency for ISAC programs. Thursday,
August 27, 2020
10-11 a.m. Register Now
Professional Judgment A review of the guiding principles of professional judgment types will be provided, along with general guidelines for addressing special circumstances and suggestions for collecting supporting documentation. Thursday,
August 27, 2020
2-3 p.m. Register Now
ISAC's Program Review Process This session will provide an overview of ISAC's program review process, address common findings, and explain how to avoid them. Friday,
August 28, 2020
10-11 a.m. Register Now
ISAC Policies & Procedures This session will highlight institutional requirements in ISAC's administrative rules and provide tips for incorporating them into your policies and procedures, including topics such as budget reporting, administrative capability, and year-end reconciliation. Friday,
August 28, 2020
2-3 p.m. Register Now

* All times Central


2020 CCE: Live Session Recordings Posted
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 August 10, 2020.

CCE Conference Logo

All recordings and associated materials of the eight live session of the 2020 College Changes Everything® (CCE) virtual conference have been posted to the 2020 CCE conference website. On behalf of the Conference Planning Committee, we want to thank all the panelists who participated in the live sessions and the participants who submitted recordings of their interest sessions for posting on the conference website.

To access a recorded session on the 2020 CCE conference website, you'll be asked to register one time to set up your viewing account, then simply login to view recordings as your schedule permits. Session topics include: breaking down affordability barriers to college access and completion, career readiness and exploration and pathway endorsements, supporting Dreamers, women in STEM, campus equity plans to eliminate gaps in degree completion by race, addressing the disparity perceived by students with disabilities, and many more. All recordings are available with no registration fees.

Thank you for your interest in CCE and supporting the state's Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025. We hope we are able to see everyone in-person at the 2021 CCE conference.

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


2020-21 MTI Awards Announced
Sent to Financial Aid Directors and Financial Aid Administrators on August 7, 2020.

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

2020-21 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program awarding has taken place for all timely renewal applicants who have been certified as eligible.

Award Information Available via the MTI System

Starting today (Friday, August 7, 2020), colleges may access 2020-21 eligible award information (including funded or unfunded status) using the MTI system. Remember that, effective since the 2019-20 academic year, all online processing for the MTI Scholarship Program is done via the MTI system, which is a component of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal.

Award notifications will be mailed to awarded students by ISAC today.

Award results may be viewed using the "Student List Eligibility: View" screen of the MTI system.

Resources Available Online

Resources regarding the awarding process (including the MTI User Guide) may be accessed via the MTI Electronic Processing area, as well as in the Award Determination for MTI section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.

Continue Certifying Records

Be sure to continue certifying records, so that applicants will receive the appropriate notifications and be included in any future rounds of awarding.

Watch for Future Updates

Future program updates, including details regarding 2020-21 MTI Scholarship Program payment processing and future rounds of awarding (if applicable), will be shared via the usual means of communication (i.e., the FAA Message Board, the MTI Scholarship Program News page, and ISAC's e-Messaging system).


2020 CCE New Live Session – Financial Aid Form Filing: The New Public HS Graduation Requirement in Illinois
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 August 4, 2020.

CCE Conference Logo

We're pleased to announce a live session tomorrow, August 5th at 2 pm – Financial Aid Form Filing: The New Public HS Graduation Requirement in Illinois. Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, public high school seniors will be required to complete a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, or a nonparticipation form as part of a new high school graduation requirement. Join us for this session to learn more about this new requirement, what it means, and how it will be implemented directly from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). ISBE will share the FAFSA Nonparticipation form and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will highlight the services and resources available to school districts as we all help students meet this new requirement. The session will be recorded and made available for those who are not able to participate in the live session.

Reserve your spot now for this live session and the state agency panel session on Thursday.

August 5, 2020
2-3 p.m.
Financial Aid Form Filing: The New Public HS Graduation Requirement in Illinois
Reserve Your
Spot Now
August 6, 2020
12-1 p.m.
Educating During the Pandemic: Efforts to Improve Access, Equity, Affordability and Excellence
Reserve Your
Spot Now

We also want to remind you that our virtual conference includes recorded sessions available on the 2020 CCE conference website. You'll be asked to register one time to set up your viewing account, then simply login to view recordings as your schedule permits. Session topics include: breaking down affordability barriers to college access and completion, career readiness and exploration and pathway endorsements, supporting Dreamers, women in STEM, campus equity plans to eliminate gaps in degree completion by race, addressing the disparity perceived by students with disabilities, and many more. Recordings of prior live sessions are also available on the conference website.

All live events and recordings are available with no registration fees. Thank you for your interest in CCE and supporting the state's Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025.

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


2020 CCE Reminder: State Agency Panel Live Session
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 August 3, 2020.

CCE Conference Logo

Please join us for the final live session of the virtual 2020 College Changes Everything® (CCE) conference – Educating During the Pandemic: Efforts to Improve Access, Equity, Affordability and Excellence. Join Deputy Governor Jesse Ruiz and agency heads from the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission as they discuss the challenges and solutions in educating students this fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics will include addressing the increased obstacles to equity and access as a result of the pandemic; improving hybrid and remote learning; addressing affordability, particularly for low income, rural and students of color; and reducing "pandemic melt" and maintaining/improving attainment in light of rapidly changing guidelines and plans for fall. This session is for education professionals as well as students and families looking for information and resources about educating Illinois students from kindergarten through postsecondary school during this unique and uncertain period. Reserve your spot now for this live session.

August 6, 2020
12-1 p.m.
Educating During the Pandemic: Efforts to Improve Access, Equity, Affordability and Excellence
Reserve Your
Spot Now

We also want to remind you that our virtual conference includes recorded sessions available on the 2020 CCE conference website. You'll be asked to register one time to set up your viewing account, then simply login to view recordings as your schedule permits. Session topics include: breaking down affordability barriers to college access and completion, career readiness and exploration and pathway endorsements, supporting Dreamers, women in STEM, campus equity plans to eliminate gaps in degree completion by race, addressing the disparity perceived by students with disabilities, and many more. Recordings of prior live sessions are also available on the conference website.

All live events and recordings are available with no registration fees. Thank you for your interest in CCE and supporting the state's Goal 2025 – to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025.

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


July 2020 Electronic ISAC Update
Sent on August 3, 2020.

The July 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 July 2020 ISAC Update include:

  • Additional Financial Aid 101 Sessions in August
    (sent July 30, 2020)
  • 2020-21 ISAC Administrative Rules Available
    (sent July 29, 2020)
  • 2020 CCE State Agency Panel Live Session
    (sent July 27, 2020)
  • 2020 CCE Additional Live Sessions
    (sent July 22, 2020)
  • Expanded COVID-19 Guidance for ISAC Programs – Spring 2020 Term
    (sent July 17, 2020)
  • Financial Aid 101 Workshop in July
    (sent July 16, 2020)
  • 2020 CCE Conference: Recorded Sessions Available
    (sent July 15, 2020)
  • 2019-20 MAP Late Claims
    (sent July 9, 2020)
  • 2020 CCE Conference Re-imagined
    (sent July 8, 2020)
  • 2020-21 MAP Suspense Implemented
    (sent July 2, 2020)
  • June 2020 Electronic ISAC Update
    (sent July 1, 2020)

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