JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

2021-22 FAFSA®, Alternative Application, and Important Dates


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 customers.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at ISAC's website (isac.org).

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

Although we are working differently during this time, we want to remind students, families, our partners and other constituents 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.

2021-22 FAFSA® and Alternative Application Now Available

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) cycle, including FAFSA on the Web, opened on October 1, 2020. The Central Processing System (CPS) began processing 2021-22 FAFSA data on October 2. Details regarding the 2021-22 application cycle may be accessed via the Applying for Financial Aid section of the e-Library for Partners.

The 2021-22 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is also available (in English and Spanish). As a reminder, undocumented students and transgender 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. Further details are provided at ISAC's RISE Act page.

Encourage your customers to check out the Financial Aid Planning area for information regarding resources that are available to help students complete the financial aid process.

November 2020: Next Unreported Loans Report to Be Distributed

ISAC plans to distribute the next National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) Lender Manifest Report of Unreported Loans (Unreported Loans Report) during the month of November 2020. This report is provided to lenders and servicers twice a year in order to assist them in determining whether all loans that appear in their loan portfolios have been reported to ISAC via their NSLDS Lender Manifest Report (Lender Manifest).

If you have not already done so, please take the time to review the loans listed on the May 2020 Unreported Loans Report and make the necessary data corrections so that these loans can be successfully reported on your next monthly Lender Manifest submission.

December 3: Next Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is scheduled to take place as a WebEx virtual event, starting at at 1 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, December 3, 2020. Further details, including a listing of tentative agenda items and participation instructions, 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 information regarding all meetings scheduled in 2021.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:

  • Monday, October 12, 2020 – Columbus Day
  • Tuesday, November 3, 2020 – Election Day
  • Wednesday, November 11, 2020 – Veterans Day
  • Thursday, November 26, 2020 – Thanksgiving Day
  • Friday, November 27, 2020 – Day after Thanksgiving
  • Friday, December 25, 2020 – Christmas Day
  • Friday, January 1, 2021 – New Year's Day

Staff will again be available the first business day immediately following each holiday.

Processing Schedules

Common Account Maintenance (CAM) files received on a holiday will be staged for processing that evening, with results available the morning of the next business day. Click on the following link to access the upcoming holiday processing schedule for CAM files.

CAM Files

For Assistance

Access the Lenders area anytime, or send an e-mail message to ISAC's Lender 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.

You are receiving this message because you registered for ISAC's e-Messaging service through one or more subscription groups for Lenders.

If you have any questions regarding this e-Message, please contact ISAC's Lender Services Department by calling toll free at 800.477.4411 or sending an e-mail message to isac.lenderservices@illinois.gov.