JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

State Scholar Finalists

2021-22 Finalists
Illinois State Scholar Badges

2021-22 Finalists

After a months-long delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ISAC announced 2021-22 State Scholars on April 12, 2021.

Students from nearly every high school in Illinois compete in the State Scholar Program (SSP). State Scholars can be found on the campuses of nearly 200 public and private institutions of higher education in Illinois. The combination of students’ exemplary college entrance examination scores and record high school achievement indicate an especially high potential for success in college. To be named an Illinois State Scholar is an outstanding accomplishment that will be a highlight of the recipient’s academic record.

Congratulatory letters are mailed directly to each scholar. A corresponding Certificate of Achievement, along with a cover letter, is mailed to the high schools that did not opt to download and print the certificates via the SSP system. Typically, the Certificates are presented to Scholars during a high school honors ceremony, and distributed according to the preferences of the high school.

Instructions for generating reports of the school's State Scholar Finalists and Non-Finalists in the SSP system are provided in the SSP Online Processing User Guide.

An online listing of 2021-22 State Scholars, displaying each State Scholar alphabetically by high school within the school's Illinois county, is available at the Students & Parents – State Scholar Announcements page.

If students or parents have questions regarding the selection process, high school counselors may choose to share with them the student's grade point average (GPA) or class rank data that was submitted to ISAC, and explain how that information factors into the formula (located on the State Scholar Selection Process page) used to determine State Scholar eligibility.

ISAC also assists Regional Offices, as well as high school counselors, in notifying local media of student accomplishments. A sample press release (typically made available soon after State Scholars have been announced) is provided to assist counselors with acknowledgement of State Scholars. Counselors may complete the generic parts of the press release with the pertinent information and the names of individual scholars and send it to local newspaper, radio and television outlets so their students can be recognized for their academic achievement. In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, if listings are sent to the media, Social Security numbers must not be included.

Now that 2021-22 State Scholars have been announced, no further changes can be submitted via the SSP system. Any corrections to already-submitted data must be submitted as follows:

Correcting Data

  • Corrections to data (for example, correcting the spelling of a name, or reporting that a student was designated as a State Scholar in error) can be made at any time after a Scholar is announced and must be submitted in writing to ISAC's School Services Department via a fax to 847.831.8549, via an e-mail to isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov, or via regular mail to our Deerfield address.


  • High school counselors should refer to the Appeals page (which is made available after Scholars have been announced each year) if they feel a student should have been designated as a State Scholar but was not. Appeals must be received at ISAC within 60 days following the announcement of the finalists. The deadline date for appeals regarding 2021-22 State Scholar announcements is Friday, June 11, 2021.

Illinois State Scholar Badges

Included in the congratulatory letter is information regarding a digital Illinois State Scholar badge issued by ISAC. The badge can be displayed on a State Scholar's online profiles and social media accounts, and shared with high school counselors, prospective colleges, employers, family members and others. Scholars may access their badges by visiting the ISAC Student Portal at isac.org/studentportal/badge and then following the on-screen prompts. Complete instructions are available via the ISAC website at isac.org/SSPbadge.

Validating a Badge

Those with whom a Scholar shares their badge may wish to validate its authenticity. In order to do so, the Scholar will need to provide either a link (URL) to the badge or the badge ID.

  • If the link (URL) has been provided: click on the link, which will launch the Badge Verification screen. The badge ID will automatically be populated, so they only need to click on "Check Badge ID."
  • To verify a badge without the link (URL):the person will need to access the State Scholar Program Badge area (located within the Toolbox section of the ISAC Student Portal), click on "Badge Verification," enter the Scholar's

    A validated badge will display "Badge ID is valid for: (FIRST NAME) (LAST NAME)."