JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC

05/20/2021

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) would like to make you aware of the following information, which may be of interest to students and their families.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at ISAC's website (isac.org).

You may either scroll through the remainder of this message, or click on the appropriate link(s) to go directly to a specific section:

General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)

2021-22 (July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022)

2022-23 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023)

GENERAL INFORMATION

Illinois Postsecondary Profiles Tool Available

Through a collaboration with several other state agencies, ISAC has recently made the Illinois Postsecondary Profiles (IPP) tool available via our website. This online resource offers postsecondary institution-specific data to help students and their families explore Illinois college options based on area of study, future occupation, school size and location, and other factors. Further details – including information about the Institutional Profiles, Occupational Profiles and Regional Profiles areas of the site – are provided in an April 6 e-Message.

Student Job Board Provides Leads for Summer Employment/Internships

Students seeking summer jobs or internships should be encouraged to check out the Student Job Board, which may be accessed via the Toolbox area of the ISAC Student Portal. A variety of job types from all areas of the state are listed and are updated on a regular basis.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Available for Eligible Households

The Emergency Broadband Benefit from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) helps eligible households afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting them to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and more. Further details, including eligibility requirements and instructions for requesting the benefit, are provided at the Emergency Broadcast Benefit page of the FCC website.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:

  • Monday, May 31 – Memorial Day
  • Monday, July 5 – Independence Day

Staff will again be available the first business day immediately following each holiday.

For Assistance

Access ISAC's website anytime, or send an e-mail message to the ISAC Call Center. With the exception of days when ISAC staff members are unavailable, we will review and respond to messages during regular business hours of Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT.

2021-22 ACADEMIC YEAR

State Scholars Announced

Congratulations to those Illinois high school students who have been designated as 2021-22 State Scholars. After a months-long delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, qualified students were designated as 2021-22 State Scholars in April (i.e., high school seniors, who will be college freshmen during the 2021-22 academic year, were named Scholars during the spring of 2021). A listing of State Scholars – displayed alphabetically by high school, within each school's county – may be accessed via the "Featured" area of our website home page.

In order to best accommodate students impacted by the irregular standardized test (ACT and SAT) schedules caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ISAC will include for 2021-22 State Scholar consideration results of tests taken from August 1, 2019 through December 31, 2020. Students who believe they may qualify as 2021-22 State Scholars based on scores ISAC has not yet received (for tests taken between August 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020) must contact their high school counselors, who will follow the proper procedures to determine whether the test scores in question can be considered.

FAFSA and Alternative Application Still Available

The 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and the 2021-22 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid (see note, below) are still available online, and – if not already done – should be completed and submitted as soon as possible by students who will be attending college between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for several forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance, including the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant.

ISAC is dedicated to helping educate students and parents about all aspects of financial aid. We devote resources to public outreach activities to help families plan for college. Public awareness and education regarding our programs is our priority as we provide students and their families with the most current information available. For example, the ISACorps – ISAC's group of recent college graduates – are trained to serve as near peer mentors to high school students. Please note that, until otherwise indicated, all outreach events will continue to be done virtually.

NOTE: Undocumented students and transgender students meeting the criteria of the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act may file the Alternative Application – which is patterned after the FAFSA and available in English and Spanish – to apply for the MAP grant. Further details are provided at ISAC's RISE Act page.

2022-23 ACADEMIC YEAR

By June 30: High School Juniors Take College Assessment Exams for State Scholar Program

Eligibility for the State Scholar Program is based, in part, on a student's highest qualifying ACT or SAT score. For current high school juniors, only exams taken between August 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 qualify for consideration in the 2022-23 State Scholar announcements that will be made during their senior year (i.e., fall of 2021). Further details are provided at the State Scholar Program page of our website.

COVID-19 Impact on Designation of State Scholars

Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the postponement or cancellation of many spring 2020 college entrance exams (i.e., ACT and SAT). While we remain hopeful that – dependent upon improving pandemic conditions – college entrance exams will take place as scheduled throughout 2021, ISAC staff continues to monitor the situation. The State Scholar Program page of our website will be updated as needed with related information.

You are receiving this message because you registered for ISAC's e-Messaging service through the Parents subscription group.

If you have any questions regarding this e-Message, please contact the ISAC Call Center by calling toll free at 800.899.ISAC (4722) or sending an e-mail message to isac.studentservices@illinois.gov.