JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program

Program News

(last updated June 22, 2020)

2020-21 Program Funding
2020-21 Gift Assistance Budget
2019-20 Program Funding
2019-20 Close-Out
2019-20 IVG Benefit Usage
IVG File Specifications
Interactive Application
Comparison of Grant Programs for Veterans

Access to the GAP Access Portal

As was shared in a December 18 e-Message, a two-factor authentication process is being implemented to improve security for accessing the Gift Assistance Programs on the GAP Access portal. The new process will require the use of a one-time verification code, obtained through an application, in conjunction with a user ID and password, when logging in to the portal.

Two-factor authentication will be required for both School User and Administrator accounts every time a user logs in, and replaces the previous use of challenge questions and answers, which will be discontinued at the time setup for the new authentication process is completed. Implementation will occur in phases. Colleges will be notified when implementation will take place. Until notification is received and implementation is complete, continue to use the two-step authentication process. User guides for each process can be found in the GAP Access User Guides section of the GAP Access page.

2020-21

Program Funding

The FY21 state budget did not include funding for the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program to provide for compensating institutions for waiving the tuition and fees for qualified applicants. (IVG 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 IVG awards, reporting of enrollment hours must still take place so that benefit usage (i.e., eligibility units) can be accurately assessed to students’ accounts.

Gift Assistance Budget

The 2020-21 budget information for the MAP, IVG and ING programs will be collected via the GAP Access system and is due to ISAC on or before June 1, 2020. The requested information follows the same format that used for the 2019-2019 academic year. A What’s New section was added to announce the enhancements to the budget submission process. Budget information must be entered for each approved program and each approved school code within a program, before it is certified.

Step-by-step instructions for accessing and navigating the GAP Access "School: Budget" screens are provided on the Gift Assistance Budget Instructions page within the Processes area and may also be viewed in a separate browser window via a link in the top right corner of the "School: Budget" screens. After logging in to GAP Access, only those staff members who have been granted authority to do so will be able to access the "Budget" option from within the "School" area of the system. Refer to the April 10 e-Message and the GAP Access User Guide for operational and security details.

2019-20

Program Funding

The FY20 state budget did not include funding for the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program to provide for compensating institutions for waiving the tuition and fees for qualified applicants. (IVG is an entitlement program and recipients will receive their awards regardless of annual appropriations.) Although ISAC will not be able to reimburse institutions for 2019-20 IVG awards, reporting of enrollment hours must still take place so that benefit usage (i.e., eligibility units) can be accurately assessed to students’ accounts.

Close-out of 2019-20 IVG Grant Processing

Important 2019-20 close-out dates for the IVG Grant program:

  • July 1 – All submissions of 2019-20 payment requests (claims) and benefits used data for the following ISAC-administered gift assistance programs, including initial and supplemental claims/data, must be received on or before July 1, 2020.
  • August 7 – Adjustments to cancel or reduce previously-submitted claims for the following programs will continue to be accepted through (including) August 7, 2020.
  • August 8 – 2019-20 data will become available for historical view only in the GAP Access component for each of the following programs on, August 8, 2020.

IVG Benefit Usage

The IVG Benefit Usage functionality allows colleges to report 2019-20 enrollment hours and benefit dollar amounts for initial, in-district and out-of-district requests via the IVG system in GAP Access. Although ISAC will not be able to reimburse institutions for 2019-20 Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) 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.

In order to provide flexibility to colleges during these unusual times, ISAC is extending the priority claim dates for the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) program. The 2019-20 IVG spring term benefit usage data is now due to ISAC on or before Friday, May 29, 2020.

Any 2019-20 benefit usage data that was submitted via FTP prior to ISAC announcing it is accepting that data will not be processed, and must be resubmitted by the college. In order to prevent having to resubmit data in the future, never submit benefit usage data via FTP until after ISAC announces it is accepting the data for that academic year.

Specific details and an IVG Program User Guide to help schools navigate the online process are provided at the IVG Electronic Processing page which may be accessed within this section or via the Processes section.

IVG File Specifications

The 2019-20 IVG File Specifications, describing the file layout to be used to send data for the IVG 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.

Interactive Application

The Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) application is an interactive application available via the ISAC Student Portal. In order to ensure that an application is processed in a timely manner, applicants should carefully read the instructions that displays when the application is first launched, submit all required documentation (part of the interactive application process), and contact an ISAC Call Center Representative if they are uncertain about what documentation is needed. Students should allow at least 4 weeks for processing of a complete application. Applications for IVG can be submitted anytime during the academic year for which assistance is being requested, and need to be submitted only once to establish eligibility.

To assist you with questions you receive from students regarding the IVG Program, refer to the IVG Grant pages in the Types of Financial Aid section in the Student During-College area. Refer to the Application Procedures for the IVG Grant page within this section for an overview of the application process, links to the interactive IVG Application, the sample acknowledgement e-mail and notifications.The ISAC Student Portal has several tools to help IVG applicants and recipients keep track of the status of their grants.

An IVG Program application needs to be submitted only once to establish eligibility. Veterans who had submitted the paper version of the IVG Program application in prior years and were deemed eligible to receive benefits do not need to submit the interactive application. Although the online option is the preferred method of applying, applicants who are unable or prefer not to submit their IVG Program application electronically may instead download and print a PDF version and submit the completed application (along with all required documentation) to ISAC via the United States Postal Service.

Comparison of Grant Programs for Veterans

Students who qualify for the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) program and the Montgomery or Post-9/11 GI Bills may receive benefits from both programs during the same academic year for eligible educational expenses. Several documents are available from the IVG Eligibility Requirements page within this section, to assist schools and students with the comparison of grant programs for veterans, the impact of GI Bill programs on IVG and a document to assist students with choosing the best program for them.