JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program

Program News

(last updated January 18, 2022)

2021-22 Application
What's Next



The 2021 ECACE Scholarship Program interactive application is now available via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal.

Applicants are also required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) for the same academic year that they are applying for the scholarship.

Both the ECACE application and the FAFSA must be completed and submitted on or before the priority consideration date. The priority consideration date for the 2021-22 application is March 1, 2022. Applications received after that date will be given consideration if funding remains available after all timely, qualified applicants have been awarded.

Further details, including proof of employment requirements, are provided at the Application Procedures for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarship Program page.

A recording of A Review of the ECACE Application Process is available for applicants via the ECACE Scholarship page in the Students & Parents area of this website.

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What's Next

The following outlines future steps in the ECACE processing cycle.

  • When the ECACE Student Eligibility List is initially made available to colleges via the ECACE component of the GAP Access portal, applications verified as “Complete” by ISAC staff will display.
  • As the March 1 priority application consideration date approaches, a Prequalification process will allocate available program funds to applicants from whom ISAC has received a complete application and who have filed a FAFSA resulting in a valid expected family contribution (EFC).
    • Allocation of funds will be prioritized based on need, starting with applicants whose EFC is zero (0).
    • Colleges will be able to view a listing of students who have been Prequalified in the ECACE system.
  • Colleges will request payment for Prequalified applicants via the ECACE system.
    • By requesting payment, the college is certifying that the student meets all eligibility requirements.
    • If a college determines that a Prequalified applicants does not meet all eligibility requirements, they will report the reason for ineligibility via the ECACE system.

This page will be updated as more details become available regarding availability of the ECACE Student Eligibility list, the Prequalification process, and when payment requests may be submitted.

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