Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program
(last updated March 29, 2021)
The FY21 state budget did not include funding for the Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant to provide for compensating institutions for waiving the tuition and fees for Guardsmen. (ING is an entitlement program and recipients will receive their awards regardless of annual appropriations.) Although ISAC will not be able to reimburse institutions for 2020-21 ING awards, reporting of enrollment hours must still take place so that benefit usage (i.e., eligibility units) can be accurately assessed to students’ accounts.
As announced in a January 8 e-Message, ISAC is accepting spring-term benefit usage data for the 2020-21 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program. In addition, a March 29 e-Message announces that the functionality for colleges to submit summer-term ING Grant benefit usage data will become available on Friday, April 2, 2021. Although ISAC will not be able to reimburse institutions for 2020-21 ING Grant Program awards, reporting of enrollment hours must still take place so that benefit usage (i.e., eligibility units) can be accurately assessed to students' accounts.
Colleges 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 via the ING Grant system in the GAP Access portal. In order to be considered timely, ING Grant benefit usage data must be submitted:
- on or before Friday, April 9, 2021 for the spring term; and,
- on or before Thursday, July 1, 2021 for the summer term (functionality to submit summer-term benefit usage data will open on April 2, 2021).
New data for students eligible for benefits will be available whenever there is a new or updated eligible record for the college. While new data could potentially be available on a daily basis, the college may not have students that appear in the system each day. It is recommended that the college check the ING Grant system at least once a week for new student data that may have been processed for the 2020-21 academic year.
ING Grant benefit usage data is submitted in the same manner as MAP and IVG claims. For additional details, refer to the ING Grant Benefit Usage page within this section. The “Benefit Usage Processing” chapter of the ING Grant User Guide can help colleges navigate the online process. ING File Specifications can be accessed in the section below and from the ING Grant Electronic Processing page.
The 2020-21 ING File Specifications, describing the file layout to be used to send data for the ING Program to ISAC via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), are available within the Electronic Tools section of the e-Library. Make sure all files conform to the 160 byte format.
Enhanced security for ISAC’s File Transfer Website, requires a valid GAP Access user ID and password in order to submit benefits used files via transfer.isac.org. Additional information and instructions are provided in the FTP Process Using GAP Access Credentials Guide.
The online interactive Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant application for the 2020-21 academic year is available via the Student Portal. Students should allow at least 4 weeks for processing of the application. Remind applicants to select the correct academic year. In addition, remind applicants in the Air National Guard that they must provide the base on the application. Complete applications received by ISAC after the deadline dates will be processed only for subsequent terms, with June 15, 2021 as the final date of acceptance for the summer term.
To assist you with questions you receive from students regarding the ING online application process and to access the interactive application, refer to the ING Grant pages in the Types of Financial Aid section in the Student During-College area.
Refer to the Application Procedures for the ING Grant page within this section for an overview of the online application process, entry steps, application confirmation information, deadline dates, a sample of the acknowledgement e-mail and a link to the interactive ING Application.
The ING Grant system is available to access student eligibility data. When a student submits an ING Grant Application to ISAC, a record is added to the school’s database in the ING system that can be viewed by the school on the ING Student List Eligibility: View screen which displays in the same format and has the same sort and filter functions as is used in the MAP program.
The ING Grant eligibility data includes information for each applicant who has applied for the ING Grant at the college of record, and for whom the Department of Military Affairs in Illinois (DMAIL) has confirmed eligibility as of the "Certified Eligible" date. It is recommended that the college check the ING Grant system for new or updated eligible records at least once a week.
Refer to ING Grant Certification of Eligibility within this section for information regarding student eligibility data. Specific details regarding the ING Grant system, including important reminders and guidelines, are provided at the ING Grant Electronic Processing page (right menu link on this page or within the Processes area).
The college's GAP Access Primary Administrator must update privileges for the appropriate staff to access the ING Grant system. Instructions for updating user privileges are provided in the GAP Access User Guides section , which is located on the GAP Access page.