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Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program

Program News

(last updated May 3, 2018)

2018-19 Gift Assistance Budget
2017-18 Program Funding
2017-18 IVG Benefit Usage
2017-18 Interactive Application
IVG File Specifications
Comparison of Grant Programs for Veterans


Gift Assistance Program Budget

As announced in a May 3 e-Message, budget information for the MAP, IVG and ING programs will be collected via the GAP Access system for the 2018-19 academic year and is due to ISAC on or before June 1, 2018. If a school's annual budget is not final by the June deadline the budget data must be submitted with estimated figures, followed by an e-mail from the financial aid director to ISAC's School Services Department that provides the approximate date by which the final budget will be submitted.

Step-by-step instructions and operational information 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. Budget data must be entered for each approved program (MAP, IVG and/or ING Grant), and each approved school code within a program, before it is certified by the financial aid director. Refer to the GAP Access User Guide for answers to security questions.

If you have questions concerning the online process of submitting budget data to ISAC, contact a School Services Representative at 866.247.2172 or


Program Funding

The FY18 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. Although, ISAC will not be able to reimburse institutions for 2017-18 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.

IVG Benefit Usage

As announced in a February 21 e-Message, IVG Benefit Usage functionality is available via GAP Access, allowing colleges to report 2017-18 enrollment hours and benefit dollar amounts for initial, in-district and out-of-district requests.  Spring term requests are due May 25, 2018.

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.  The IVG File Specifications and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) process have changed. Both documents can be found on the Electronic Tools page.

Interactive Application

Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, the Illinois Veteran’s 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.

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.

Refer to the October 4 e-Message.

IVG File Specifications

The 2017-18 IVG file layout has increased to a 160-byte.  The new specifications apply to spring-term processing. Please make sure all files conform to this new format. The 2017-18 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.

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 Additional information and instructions are provided in the FTP Process Using GAP Access Credentials Guide.

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.