JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

ISAC Update

VOL. 39, NO. 4F
October 2021

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
ISAC Update

Welcome to the October 2021 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 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.


ILASFAA Virtual Fall Workshops
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 29, 2021.

The ILASFAA Training & Professional Development Committee regrets the cancellation of in-person Fall Workshops. While we hope next year to resume in-person workshops, we are still providing the same great sessions remotely this year.

Below are the registration links. If you previously registered for one of the in-person workshops, please register again.

There will be no charge for the virtual workshop. If you have already paid for the in-person workshop, please contact Elyse Weller at (618) 453-4652 or elyse.weller@siu.edu for a full refund.

ILASFAA Fall Workshops


Virtual, WebEx Meeting




Tuesday, November 4, 2021 (REGISTRATION) or

Friday, November 12, 2021 (REGISTRATION)


Teacher Program Enrollment Verification Update
Sent to Financial Aid Directors and Financial Aid Administrators on October 27, 2021.

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

2020-2021 Enrollment Verification Data Due November 30
(Data Now Available)

ISAC is now accepting 2020-2021 enrollment verification data for students who previously received funds from ISAC-administered teacher programs.

  • Beginning today –Wednesday, October 27, 2021 – enrollment verification data for the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program and the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program is available via each program's system within the GAP Access portal.
  • Data is to be completed by the college and returned to ISAC as soon as possible, verifying award recipients' current enrollment status. All data must be submitted on or before Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
  • As a reminder, ISAC monitors recipients' fulfillment of the program requirements because, if recipients fail to meet the applicable requirements, their awards convert to loans that must be repaid.
    • Knowing recipients' enrollment status, as reported by the colleges, allows ISAC to communicate with recipients who have graduated (or otherwise stopped attending college) regarding the steps they need to take in order to fulfill program requirements.
    • The sooner colleges submit enrollment verification data to ISAC, the sooner ISAC can communicate with impacted award recipients.

Reporting Enrollment Status

  • For the MTI Scholarship and Illinois SETTW programs:
    • From the MTI or SETTW system "Home" page within GAP Access, select the prior academic year (in this case, "2020-2021") from the "Academic Year" drop-down menu, and then click on the "Enrollment Status Verification" tab.
    • If "2021-2022" is selected as the academic year, the "Enrollment Status Verification" listing will be blank.
    • The reason the academic year must be selected for enrollment verification is that other functionalities (for example, certification and payment) also reside in the MTI and SETTW systems.
  • For the Illinois SETTW Program Only:
  • Data should be reported based on each student's last date of enrollment in the required teaching program.
  • If the "Enrollment Status" is anything other than "In School," the "Effective Date" also must be provided. A listing of valid "Enrollment Status" options may be found in the Enrollment Status Verification for the Teacher Programs User Guide.
  • If the student remains enrolled in the required teaching program for 2021-2022, indicate such with the "In School" status; those students will continue to appear with future-year data.

Reminder: In order for staff to view enrollment status verification data, the institution's GAP Access administrator must ensure that access to this functionality has been granted (both for themselves and other staff, as appropriate). Further details regarding this process are provided in the "Security Access" section that appears at the bottom of this message.

Making Revisions After Data Has Been Submitted

Enrollment status verification data is available to be updated only if the information has not yet been submitted to ISAC. Colleges must contact School Services for changes that need to be made after the data has been submitted.

Resources Available Online

Further details and instructions regarding the enrollment verification process may be accessed by selecting the appropriate links below:

Security Access

GAP Access User Guides provide institutions with step-by-step instructions for activating and monitoring user accounts. All users need a valid GAP Access ID and password to access the 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.

Enrollment verification functionality for the teacher programs is available each day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (CT).

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 October 12, 2021.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will offer the following webinars for financial aid administrators during the fourth quarter of 2021:

  • October 27 at 2 p.m. – ISAC Operational Update and Program News
  • November 24 at 10 a.m. – ISAC Operational Update and Program News
  • December 22 at 2 p.m. – ISAC Operational Update and Program News

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 Tania.Mendoza@illinois.gov prior to the session.

Introducing New Training Option

We are excited to announce our next series of recorded ISAC Program Overview Webinars. These webinars will contain an overview of each ISAC program, beginning with the Monetary Award Program (MAP), and may be accessed via the Recorded Webinars page within the Partner Training area.

ISAC's Partner Services and Training Services staff will continue to offer the monthly "ISAC Operational Update and Program News" live webinars.

2022-23 MAP Start-up Implementation
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on October 7, 2021.

2022-23 Monetary Award Program (MAP) data – reflecting the start-up formula that was approved at the September 16, 2021 Commission meeting – are anticipated to be available to access via the MAP system effective tomorrow morning (Friday, October 8, 2021). As of tomorrow, all 2022-23 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) and Alternative Application Student Records received by ISAC through (including) today (Thursday, October 7, 2021) will be available with their accompanying eligibility status information. Daily processing of 2022-23 ISIR, Alternative Application, and eligibility status information will commence tomorrow.

Processing Details

  • Following the 2021-22 MAP recompute formula, the 2022-23 start-up formula:
    • uses a living allowance of $5,020; and,
    • has a maximum annual award amount of $5,496.
  • The MAP system works best using Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher.
  • The ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal, which includes 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.
  • 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 and Alternative Application Student Records.


  • Given the likelihood that 2022-23 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 2022-23 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) or Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid – which both became available on October 1 – as soon as possible.
    • The 2022-23 priority deadline date for returning MAP recipients – the date on or before which eligible students who received MAP funds during the 2021-22 academic year must submit the 2022-23 FAFSA or Alternative Application in order to receive priority access to appropriated MAP funds – is Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
  • 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,
    • MAP Paid Credit Hours Display (located in the Program Applications & Status Checks area) – MAP grant recipients may use this option to track the number of MAP Paid Credit Hours they have used to date, and
    • Student Resources Beyond Financial Aid (located in the Resources area) – students can find resources for food (including listings of Illinois food pantries on or near college campuses, as well as across the state), housing, medical care, child and dependent care assistance and consideration because of special circumstances.

2022-23 FAFSA®, Alternative Application, 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 1, 2021.

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:

2022-23 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023)
New FAFSA and Alternative Application Now Available

2021-22 (July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022)

2020-21 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021)

General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)


2022-23 FAFSA® and Alternative Application Now Available

The 2022-23 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) cycle, including FAFSA on the Web, opened – and the Central Processing System (CPS) began processing 2022-23 FAFSA data – on October 1, 2021. Details regarding the 2022-23 application cycle may be accessed via the Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library for Partners.

The 2022-23 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is also available (in English and Spanish). As a reminder, students meeting the criteria of the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act may file the Alternative Application – which is patterned after the FAFSA – to apply for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant. Because the failure to register for Selective Service no longer disqualifies an applicant from receiving federal student aid, students who have not registered may want to consider completing the FAFSA instead of the Alternative Application to maximize their financial aid opportunities. Further details are provided at ISAC's RISE Act page.

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.

December 1: Priority Deadline Date for Returning MAP Recipients

Eligible applicants must have received MAP funds during the 2021-22 academic year and submit their 2022-23 FAFSA or Alternative Application on or before December 1, 2021 (which is the 2022-23 priority deadline date) in order to receive priority access to 2022-23 MAP funds.


ISAC Administrative Rules Available

ISAC Administrative Rules, which were adopted for the 2021-22 academic year, are available within the e-Library for Partners and may be viewed in two formats: "Listed Alphabetically" and "Listed by Program Type/Topic."

Selective Service Requirement Removed from ISAC's Rules

An August 27 e-Message announces that – effective August 16, 2021 and in conjunction with ED's early implementation of the related portion of the FAFSA Simplification Act – the requirement that each applicant must comply with Selective Service requirements as stated in federal regulations was deleted from ISAC's rules. We are in the process of updating resource information, including program pages on the website, and will revise application documents and other operational material as necessary as we move through the processing year.

2021-22 FAFSA and Alternative Application Remain Available

Although ISAC suspended the announcement of 2021-22 MAP grants (for all students whose initial 2021-22 FAFSA is received by the federal processor, or whose initial Alternative Application is received by ISAC, on or after August 27, 2021), these 2021-22 applications remain available online. If not already done, an application should be completed and submitted as soon as possible by students who will be attending college between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for other forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance. The suspension of 2021-22 MAP award announcements does not impact any other financial aid programs.

Grant Program for Exonerees Application Available

Applications for the 2021-22 Grant Program for Exonerees are now being accepted. Applications for this program are processed in date-received (i.e., "first come, first served") order.

Program funds are limited and are available to students who received a pardon from the Governor of the State of Illinois that was issued on the grounds of innocence of the crime for which they had been imprisoned, or who received a certificate of innocence from a circuit court. Students who meet this criteria and all other eligibility requirements for the program may complete and submit the application as soon as possible.

December 10: First-term Claim Deadline for MAP, MTI and Golden Apple

As announced in a September 22 e-Message, payment requests (i.e., claims) for the 2021-22 MAP, Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship, and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois (Golden Apple) programs are due on or before December 10, 2021.

Future updates – including, once determined, the priority claim deadlines for subsequent terms – will be announced via our usual means of communication: the FAA Message Board; the MAP, MTI Scholarship and Golden Apple "Program News" pages; and/or ISAC's e-Messaging system.

Continue Certifying MTI Eligibility

Continue using the MTI system to certify eligibility throughout the year, in order to ensure that your students will be included in any rounds of awarding that take place. Details regarding the certification process are provided in a May 18 e-Message.

MTI Applications Still Being Accepted

Although the 2021-22 priority consideration application deadline for the MTI Scholarship Program was March 1, 2021, applications will continue to be accepted for as long as funding remains after all timely qualified applicants have been awarded.

December 31: Fall-Term Deadline to Report Benefit Usage Data for IVG and ING Grant

An August 18 e-Message announced that ISAC is accepting fall-term benefit usage data for the 2021-22 Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) and Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant programs.

Deadline dates are as follows:

  • IVG data for the fall term is due December 31, 2021.
  • ING Grant data for the fall term is due December 31, 2021.

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 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 2021-22 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 Year: Reporting Enrollment Verification Data for ISAC-Administered Teacher Education Programs

ISAC will soon begin accepting 2020-21 enrollment verification data for students who previously received funds from the following ISAC-administered teacher programs:

Watch for more details – including the date by which enrollment verification data is due – in a future e-Message.


December 2: Next Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, December 2, 2021. Further 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.

The Commission Meeting Schedule page will soon be updated with information regarding all meetings scheduled in 2022.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:

  • Monday, October 11 – Columbus Day
  • Thursday, November 11 – Veterans Day
  • Thursday, November 25 – Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday, November 26 – Day after Thanksgiving
  • Friday, December 24 – Christmas (observed)
  • Friday, December 31 – New Year's (observed)

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 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 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 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.

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September 2021 Electronic ISAC Update
Sent on October 1, 2021.

The September 2021 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 2021 ISAC Update include:

      • First-term Claim Deadline for FY22 MAP, MTI and Golden Apple: December 10
        (sent September 22, 2021)
      • 2022-23 MAP Start-up Formula Approved
        (sent September 21, 2021)
      • 2021-22 MTI and Golden Apple Payment
        (sent September 14, 2021)
      • Virtual Commission Meeting Thursday, September 16 – Executive Briefing Monday, September 20
        (sent September 13, 2021)
      • ISAC's September Webinar Offered Twice
        (sent September 8, 2021)
      • 2021-22 Golden Apple Eligibility Data
        (sent September 2, 2021)
      • August 2021 Electronic ISAC Update
        (sent September 1, 2021)

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