State Scholar Program
(Last updated October 21, 2021)
A two-factor authentication process was implemented to improve security for accessing the Gift Assistance Programs on the GAP Access portal. The process requires 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 is required for both School User and Administrator accounts every time a user logs in. If the setup process has not yet been completed by the high school, refer to the GAP Access Two-Factor Authentication User Guide for instructions.
Processing of State Scholar Program (SSP) data – for Illinois students who will be college freshmen during the 2022-23 academic year – has begun. High schools that have not already done so are encouraged to submit their sixth semester data as soon as they are able, and no later than Friday, November 5, 2021, using one of two available options: in batches (via Excel spreadsheets), or through the online process.
Following a one-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the SSP early announcement option is again being offered this processing cycle. The first round of 2022-23 State Scholar early announcements took place on October 21, 2021.
- The Required Sixth Semester Data page provides details about what data is used to determine SSP eligibility, and the Methods to Submit Sixth Semester Data section of the page includes information about the two options that can be used for the submission of sixth semester data.
- High schools choose whether to include their eligible students for consideration in the early processing cycle. Refer to the Early Announcements section below for details.
- Students whose high schools submit sixth semester data, but are not included for consideration in an early announcement round, will be considered for State Scholar designation when the last announcement round takes place in late fall.
- Individual congratulatory letters are sent based on when a student is announced as a State Scholar.
- As 2022-23 State Scholars are named, congratulatory letters are mailed directly to Scholars. A sample congratulatory letter is available in the Finalists area.
- If your school does not choose to participate in the early announcement process, congratulatory letters will be mailed directly to your Scholars after the final round of announcements takes place in late fall.
- High schools may generate the "Finalists" report in the SSP system after their State Scholars have been announced.
- Refer to the State Scholar Finalists page for information about corrections, Illinois State Scholar Badges and submitting an appeal.
- A sample press release, which can assist schools in announcing State Scholars, will be provided at the ISAC website after the final round of announcements has been made in late fall.
As announced in an October 21 e-Message, the first round of early announcements for 2022-23 State Scholars has taken place. From this point forward, the announcement of Scholars will run every Monday evening for students attending high schools that have submitted sixth semester data with no unresolved discrepancies and have chosen to participate in the early announcement process. Results for these high schools will be reflected in the SSP system on Tuesday mornings.
Congratulatory letters are mailed after each round of early announcements. Instructions for generating a "Finalists" report via the SSP system are provided on pages 14-15 of the SSP Online Processing User Guide. An individual student's status can be checked by viewing the “Selected for State Scholar” column on the “Student Results” screen within the SSP system.
- High schools choose whether to include their eligible students for consideration in the early processing cycle.
- Checking the "Run Selection" box (located on the "State Scholar Program: Search By School: Results" screen of the SSP system) allows the high school's students to be included for consideration in the next round of 2022-23 State Scholar announcements.
- For high schools that submit sixth semester data via an Excel spreadsheet, the "Run Selection" checkbox becomes available to check after ISAC has processed the file and resolved any discrepancies.
- An e-mail is sent to the high school's Primary Administrator (principal) and the School Contact (as listed in the SSP system's "State Scholar Program: Search by School: Results" screen) to indicate when the "Run Selection" box is available to check.
- Before checking the box, be sure to review all submitted student data for accuracy.
- For high schools that use the online process, the "Run Selection" box will be available immediately. The school simply needs to check the "Run Selection" box once the final sixth semester data has been submitted
Rather than waiting for the final round of announcements to take place in late fall, high schools have the option of downloading and printing Certificates of Achievement as soon as their Scholars have been named.
- Instructions for downloading and printing Certificates of Achievement are provided in the SSP Online Processing User Guide.
- Schools that do not choose to download and print their own certificates may instead wait for ISAC to mail printed Certificates of Achievement to them after the final round of announcements takes place.
- High schools that download their own certificates will not receive the ISAC-printed Certificates of Achievements later this fall.