JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Golden Apple (GA) Scholarship Payment

{ISAC Rules, Part 2764.40 and Section 2700.05}

Payment
Disbursement
Payment Offset and Reconciliation

Payment

Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, Golden Apple Scholarship payment processing will be done using the GA system available through ISAC’s GAP Access portal replacing the process previously done in the My Zone system. School staff must have the appropriate level of access in order to submit payment requests in GAP Access. The school's primary administrator or a designated administrator is responsible for authorizing access levels.

Colleges can request payment for individual students via the GA Student Detail: Payment screen or in batches for a group of students via the GA Payment Request Entry screen. 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 GA system, a college is certifying that the student meets all eligibility criteria.

A Payment Result Summary and Invoice Detail Report can be viewed or printed  by selecting the report tab in the GA system the day after a payment request has been processed. 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 the day after submitting payment requests to see which requests, if any, did not process as expected.

Refer to the payment section of the GA User Guide for details about how to submit a payment request, use the sort and filter functions, a list of result codes and how to obtain payment reports. Refer the GA Electronic Processing for details about accessing the MTI system and hours of operation.

Disbursement

Awards are made in multiple disbursements. The maximum award amount per regular school year is $5,000 for juniors and seniors and $2,500 for freshmen and sophomores. For full-year awards, semester schools receive two disbursements; quarter schools receive three disbursements. Multiple disbursements are not required in cases where the recipient’s eligibility is not determined until the final term of the award year for which the scholarship is being awarded. If the student has applied for or is enrolled in a term(s) which is less than the award year, he or she may receive the full award based on the academic level.

The Golden Apple Foundation certifies a recipient’s eligibility one term at a time. Only the term(s) that have been certified as eligible will display on the Payment Request Entry screen. (For example, in September, only the fall term payment will be available to request.)  Because the Golden Apple Foundation completes certification for GA recipients, any adjustment to a student’s academic level during the award year that would impact a student’s award amount must be reported to the Foundation so that they can update the student’s certification record. Once the certification record has been updated, the school will be able to submit a payment request for the updated award amount.  The contact person at the Foundation is Cheryl Flores.

ISAC authorizes a voucher in the amount of the payment invoice and submits it to the State Comptroller's Office which issues payment to the institution. Vouchers are emailed to the Financial Aid Director. Colleges  can match the invoice number on the Payment Results/Exceptions report with the voucher.

Upon receipt of the scholarship funds from the Comptroller, the college should  verify the student's enrollment status for the term for which the award was intended. If enrolled, the institution may credit the scholarship funds to the recipient’s account for expenses due and payable. The balance of the disbursement is to be released to the recipient.  If the recipient has withdrawn, the college must indicate the reason on the GA Student Detail: Payment screen. The GA system will deobligate the award and the amount will offset a future payment to the college.

If a student fails to meet any of the eligibility requirements during the academic year, all undisbursed funds will be deobligated.

Payment Offset and Reconciliation

Information about the payment offset process and reconciliation is located in the Refunds and Unpaid Claims section in the Processes area.