JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

OESP Enrollment Status Verification & Practice Agreement Requirements

{ISAC Rules, Section 2741.30}

Enrollment Status Verification
Overview
Security Access to GAP Access
Reporting Enrollment Status Data
OESP Practice Agreement
Extensions
Deferments
Repayment

ISAC monitors recipients’ fulfillment of Optometric Education Scholarship Program (OESP) practice agreement. If the recipient fails to meet the practice agreement, the scholarship converts to a loan. The scholarship program award received must be repaid, prorated according to the fraction of the obligation not completed, plus any reasonable collection costs.

Enrollment Status Verification

Overview

At the end of each academic year, colleges are required to verify the enrollment statuses for Illinois Optometric Education Scholarship Program (IOESP) recipients by submitting Enrollment Status Verification data to ISAC. The functionality for reporting enrollment status data for students who previously received funds from ISAC-administered teacher programs, is performed through the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal.

ISAC monitors recipients’ fulfillment of the program requirements because, if recipients fail to meet the applicable requirements, their scholarships convert to loans that must be repaid. Knowing recipients’ enrollment status, as reported by the colleges, allows ISAC to communicate with recipients who have graduated (or otherwise stopped attending college) regarding the steps they need to take in order to fulfill their program requirements.

Refer to the Enrollment Status Verification for the Teacher Programs User Guide for step-by-step instructions on completing and submitting enrollment status data. Details about the teaching requirement, extensions, deferments and repayment are available below on this page.

Security Access

GAP Access User Guides provide institutions with step-by-step instructions for activating and monitoring user accounts. All users need a valid GAP Access ID and password to access the system. ISAC relies on a designated Primary Administrator (usually, the Financial Aid Director) at each institution to authorize users and provide them with the appropriate level of access for each ISAC program. Note that, because IOESP is new to GAP Access for 2019-20 reporting requirements, user privileges will need to be updated to include this program.

Reporting Enrollment Status Data

  • Enrollment verification functionality for the teacher programs is available is available each day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. (CT)
  • Because this is the first year that the IOESP system has appeared in the GAP Access portal, and enrollment verification is currently the only functionality for this program, the academic year does not need to be selected. All IOESP screens currently default to "2019-2020."
  • Data should be reported based on each student's last date of enrollment in the required teaching program.
  • If the "Enrollment Status" is anything other than "In School," the "Effective Date" also must be provided. A listing of valid "Enrollment Status" options may be found in the Enrollment Status Verification for the Teacher Programs User Guide.
  • If the student remains enrolled in the required teaching program for 2020-2021, indicate such with the "In School" status; those students will continue to appear with future-year data.
  • Enrollment status verification data is available to be updated only if the information has not yet been submitted to ISAC. Colleges must contact School Services for changes that need to be made after the data has been submitted.

NOTE: In order for staff to view enrollment status verification data, the Illinois College of Optometry's GAP Access administrator must ensure that access to this functionality has been granted (both for themselves and other staff, as appropriate). Further details regarding this process are provided in the Security Access section above.

OESP Practice Agreement

Prior to receiving scholarship assistance, recipients of the OESP, must sign a Practice Agreement/Promissory Note that shall include the following stipulations:

  • Promises to practice in Illinois as a licensed optometrist for a period of not less than one year for each year of scholarship assistance received.
  • Begin practicing optometry in Illinois within one year following completion of the academic program for which the student was awarded the scholarship and promises to practice on a continuous basis until they have fully completed their obligation.
  • If the requirement to practice optometry in Illinois is not fulfilled, the scholarship converts to a loan and the recipient must repay the amount of the scholarship(s), prorated according to the fraction of the obligation not completed, plus interest at a rate of 5%, and, if applicable, reasonable collection fees.

All scholarship funds must be used for educational expenses. Program recipients agree to provide ISAC with evidence of compliance with program requirements (e.g., respond to annual follow-up questionnaires, etc.).

Extensions

A recipient of the scholarship will not be in violation of their agreement during periods in which the recipient:

  • serves, for not more than three years, as a member of the United States Armed Forces;
  • is enrolled full-time in a residency program at an approved institution for one continuous period of time, not to exceed one year, following graduation;
  • is temporarily totally disabled for not more than three years, as established by the sworn affidavit of a qualified physician;
  • cannot fulfill the practice obligation due to his or her death, verified by a certified copy of a death certificate; or
  • cannot fulfill the practice obligation due to his or her disability or incompetency, as established by sworn affidavit of a qualified physician.

To qualify for any of these extensions, the recipient must provide to ISAC written evidence of your eligibility. Contact the ISAC Call Center for more information.

Deferments

The 10-year repayment period may be extended if the recipient:

  • serves, for not more than three years, as a member of the United States Armed Forces;
  • is enrolled full-time in a residency program at an approved institution for one continuous period of time, not to exceed one year, following graduation; or
  • is temporarily disabled, for not more than three years, as established by the sworn affidavit of a licensed physician.

During the time a recipient qualifies for a deferments or an extension, s/he is not required to make payments and interest does not accrue.

To qualify for any of these deferments, the recipient must complete and provide to ISAC the Program Requirements Deferment Request Form. Contact the ISAC Call Center for more information.

Repayment

If the recipient does not fulfill the requirement to practice optometry in Illinois, the scholarship converts to a loan and the recipient must repay the entire amount of the scholarship(s), prorated according to the fraction of the obligation not completed, plus interest at a rate of 5%, and, if applicable, reasonable collection fees. If a recipient is required to repay any portion of the scholarship, the repayment period must be completed within 10 years after the scholarship converts to a loan.

A recipient shall enter repayment status on the earliest of the following dates:

  • the first day of the first calendar month after the recipient has ceased to pursue a course of study leading to certification as an optometrist;
  • the date the recipient informs ISAC that s/he does not plan to fulfill the practice obligation; or
  • the day after the latest date upon which the recipient must have begun practicing as an optometrist after completing the education for which the scholarship was awarded.

A recipient shall not be required to repay the amount of the scholarship(s) received if s/he becomes permanently totally disabled, as established by the sworn affidavit of a licensed representative, or if his or her representative provides ISAC with a certified death certificate.