JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Event Information

ISAC held the 4th annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Symposium on Wednesday, September 29, 2022, at College of DuPage!

The FAFSA Symposium provided an opportunity for attendees to hear from presenters on how their schools and districts support students and families with the FAFSA and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid. Attendees also heard from presenters on how to strengthen their financial aid application completion efforts and highlighted their goals for the school year.

Below are PDF copies of each presentation given during the FAFSA Symposium. If you are interested in presenting or attending next year’s FAFSA Symposium, sign up for ISAC’s e-Messaging service to be the first to know when the call for proposals and registration opens for the 2023 FAFSA Symposium! 

For questions, contact the Professional Development team at [email protected].


To access a presentation, click on the plus sign (+) on the left side of the agenda.

General Session

Representatives from ISAC’s Program Services & Compliance division will provide an update on federal and state financial aid, key changes to the 2023-24 FAFSA and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, recent changes to the Illinois MAP Grant, and more!

Presenters: Carol Cook, Managing Director of Program Services & Compliance, ISAC; Kim Eck, Assistant Director of Partner Services, ISAC

pdf General Session

Lessons Learned: FAFSA Graduation Requirement

Learn how West Aurora High School encountered challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic for financial aid application completion. Using the Financial Aid Application Graduation Requirement, hear how we redesigned our approaches and strategies to help students understand their financial aid options!

Presenters: Sue Fowler, College & Career Coordinator, West Aurora High School; Ryan Gatbunton, School Counselor, West Aurora High School

pdf Lessons Learned FAFSA Graduation Requirement

Strategies for Large-Scale Financial Aid Workshops

Learn how to organize and execute a large Financial Aid Completion workshop for students in English and Spanish. We will share how to advertise your event, plan, and include internal and external staff. We will go over our successes and challenges past and present as we plan for the upcoming school year!

Presenters: Kelly Kenny, College & Career Counselor, Oak Lawn High School

pdf Hosting Large-Scale Finanical Aid Workshops

Financial Aid Supports for First-Generation College Students

Learn how Elgin & Conant High Schools have adopted 5 key supports to assist our first-generation college students, who have encountered many challenges including navigating the financial aid process. We will discuss each support in depth and how these supports informed our school’s practices for the 2021-22 school year and beyond!

Presenters: David Hess, School Counselor, Hersey High School; Pamela Nehrke, College & Career Counselor, J B Conant High School

pdf Finanical Aid Supports for First-Generation College Students

How Community-Based Organizations Can Support Financial Aid Application Completion

Learn how Enlace Chicago, a community-based organization, has focused their efforts on financial aid application completion and how they have teamed up with local high schools to connect with students directly!

Presenters: Jocelyne Morales, Little Village en Route to College Post-secondary Coach, Enlace Chicago

pdf How Community-Based Organizations can Support Finanical Aid Completion

Recognizing and Supporting Schools Through the Financial Aid Application Graduation Requirement

Join representatives from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for an update on the implementation of the Financial Aid Application Graduation Requirement. Presenters will discuss the actions taken by both agencies to support and recognize schools through the implementation of the first two years of this requirement and will address anticipated changes for the upcoming school year. Session topics will also include the Recognition of Excellence Awards, data tracking and reporting, the Nonparticipation Form, and more.

Presenters: Eddie Brambila, Managing Director of Capacity Development, ISAC; Heather Lueken School Counseling Principal Consultant, Illinois State Board of Education

pdf Recogonizing and Supporting Schools Through the Finanical Aid Graduation Requirement

Engaging Students & Families in Financial Aid Application Completion

Hear from Belvidere High School on the best practices in engaging students in the financial aid application completion process! In this presentation, you will hear about Belvidere High School’s efforts in reaching students when it comes to completing FAFSA and the Alternative Application. Additional emphasis will be given to the efforts to reach Spanish-speaking students and families. Presenter: Emily Owen, School Counselor, Belvidere High School

pdf Engaging Students and Families in Finanical Aid Completion

Making the Most of ISAC’s Resources

Whether you are a first-year school counselor or a financial aid counselor or have been supporting students and families for several years in financial aid, this session is for you! ISAC’s Professional Development team will review the free resources counselors and professionals can use to support families through the financial aid process. /p>

Presenters: Beth Groves, Professional Development Specialist, ISAC; Tommy Semanic, Professional Development Specialists, ISAC

pdf Making the Most of ISAC's Resources