Few states offer as comprehensive an array of programs as does Illinois, through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). Among those programs are state and federal grants and scholarships, federal and alternative educational loans, and a college savings and prepaid tuition program known as College Illinois!®.
ISAC provides financial aid for college education through the many gift assistance programs that it administers. Gift assistance is awarded in the form of scholarships, tuition waivers, and grants for loan repayment for teachers and child care providers.
ISAC offers Illinois residents a variety of grant and scholarship programs, eligibility for which is based on factors such as financial need, academic achievement, chosen field of study, or military service. At the core of these programs is ISAC’s need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is needed to begin the application process for all federal programs and some state programs, including ISAC’s MAP.
As an approved participant in any of the gift assistance programs administered by ISAC, postsecondary institutions may receive funds on behalf of eligible students. Most of ISAC’s gift assistance programs have their own individual applications that must be completed and submitted on an annual basis.
ISAC administers the State’s only prepaid tuition program, College Illinois!®, an affordable and flexible way for families to secure a college education for their children. Designed to make higher education accessible and more affordable, College Illinois!® is an effective college funding tool that offers families peace of mind as they prepare for a child’s college education without the worry of rising costs.
In order to use College Illinois!® benefits, the prepaid tuition plan must have been in place for at least three years and the plan must be paid in full, including any outstanding fees. All College Illinois!® contract distributions are made directly to the institution on behalf of the student. An instruction packet will be sent to eligible students before benefits can be used.