JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

State Scholar Program

Program News

(Last updated February 5, 2024)

GAP Access Two-Factor Authentication
2024-25 State Scholar Processing
Processing Announcements
Certificates of Achievement
College Entrance Exams for 2025-26 State Scholars

GAP Access Two-Factor Authentication

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.


State Scholar Processing

ISAC has announced 2024-25 State Scholars. Further details are provided in a November 21 e-Message.

Processing Announcements

  • Individual congratulatory letters have been sent to Scholars.
  • High schools may generate the "Finalists" report in the SSP system by following the instructions provided on pages 14-15 of the SSP Online Processing User Guide.
    • As a reminder, ISAC does not post the names of Illinois State Scholar Finalists on its website, due to the differences in policies among high schools regarding publishing student information online.
  • Refer to the State Scholar Finalists page for information about corrections, Illinois State Scholar Badges and submitting an appeal.
    • The deadline for 2024-25 State Scholar appeals was January 31, 2024.
  • A sample press release, which can assist schools in announcing State Scholars, is also available via the State Scholar Finalists area.

Certificates of Achievement

  • Instructions for downloading and printing Certificates of Achievement are provided in the SSP Online Processing User Guide.
  • Schools that participated in the early announcement process but did not choose to download and print their own certificates are mailed printed Certificates of Achievement from ISAC.
  • High schools that downloaded their own certificates will not receive the ISAC-printed Certificates of Achievements.

Reminder Regarding Certificates of Achievement for Future Years

For State Scholars who will be college freshmen during the 2024-25 academic year, schools had the option of printing their own Certificates of Achievement or having them printed and sent to them by ISAC after the final round of announcements had taken place.

High schools are reminded that – beginning with next year's State Scholars processing cycle (i.e., for Illinois students who will be college freshmen during the 2025-26 academic year) – ISAC will no longer print these documents. Rather, all high schools will need to print Certificates of Achievement for their State Scholars.


College Entrance Exams

Eligibility for the State Scholar Program is based, in part, on a student's highest qualifying ACT or SAT score. High school juniors who are potential candidates will need to take one of the accepted exams during the specified timeframe to be considered for State Scholar designation, even though Illinois' public institutions are now prohibited from requiring the submission of student test scores as part of the admissions process.

For current high school juniors, only exams taken between August 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024 qualify for consideration in the State Scholar announcements that will be made during their senior year (i.e., high school juniors, who will be college freshmen during the 2025-26 academic year, will be named Scholars during the fall of 2024).