JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program

Program News

(last updated May 12, 2022)

2021-22 Payment
2021-22 Prequalification
2021-22 Application
2022-23 Application



Colleges may utilize the ECACE system to submit 2021-22 ECACE Scholarship Program payment requests for the fall (first) (see e-Messages dated March 25 and March 29), winter (second quarter) and spring (second semester or third quarter) (see April 21 e-Message), and summer (see May 12 e-Message) terms, with results available on Tuesday mornings for claims submitted throughout the prior week.

Effective May 12, 2022, the ECACE system is accepting summer-term claims, with results for claims submitted through 7 p.m. (CT) on May 16, 2022 appearing in the ECACE system the morning of Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Note that, for purposes of administering the ECACE Scholarship, summer awards will need to be processed as the fourth term (i.e., end or "trailer" of the award year), much like is done for the Grant Programs for Police, Fire, or Correctional Officers and the Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant.

Submitting payment requests is a two-step process, which involves generating the request and then submitting the request. By submitting a payment request to ISAC via the ECACE system, a college is certifying that the student meets all eligibility criteria. If a college determines that a prequalified applicant does not meet all eligibility requirements, they report the reason for ineligibility via the ECACE system.

Payment results are available in the ECACE system on a weekly basis (Tuesday mornings), which is different than some other programs that are part of the GAP Access portal. A Payment Result Summary and Invoice Detail Report can be viewed or printed by selecting the report tab in the ECACE system. The report includes Payment Results and Payment Exceptions as well as Invoice Detail about the payment claim. The Payment Results/Exceptions report should be reviewed regularly to see which requests, if any, did not process as expected. Retain a copy of the report for each payment request submitted, so that the invoice number on the report can be matched with the voucher and the funds received from the State Comptroller's Office. After payment requests are processed, vouchers are generated and sent via e-mail to financial aid directors.

The disbursement of funds is processed by the State Comptroller's Office. Refer to the State Comptroller's Website page for information on how to track payment.

For more information, refer to the following resources on ISAC's website:

ECACE Payment
ECACE Electronic Processing
ECACE User Guide

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Effective March 24, 2022, colleges may view a listing of complete ECACE records by accessing the ECACE system and selecting the Student tab to display the "Student List Eligibility: View" screen.

An ECACE Scholarship record is considered prequalified if the student has completed the online application process – which includes submitting a complete ECACE Scholarship Program application to ISAC and completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) that results in a valid expected family contribution (EFC) – and they meet all initial eligibility requirements (i.e., requirements other than those that must be verified by the college).

Further details are provided at the ECACE Prequalification page, and in a March 25 e-Message.

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The 2021-22 ECACE Scholarship Program interactive application remains 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.

Applicants should be encouraged to complete and submit both the ECACE application and the FAFSA on or before each year's priority consideration date. The priority consideration date for the 2021-22 application was March 1, 2022. Applications received after that date will continue to be considered for as long as funding remains available after all timely, qualified applicants have been awarded. Encourage students who have not already done so to complete and submit their applications as soon as possible.

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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The 2022-23 ECACE Scholarship Program interactive application will be available via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal in June, 2022.

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