Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC
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:
2024-25 (July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2025)
2023-24 (July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024)
2022-23 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023)
General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)
By End of December 2023: 2024-25 FAFSA® Available
As part of implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the 2024-25 federal process for applying for financial aid is anticipated to reflect the changes outlined below. Because these changes will take time to properly implement, the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is expected to be available in December 2023 (rather than in October). ISAC anticipates availability of the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid for the 2024-25 academic year to coincide with the launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA.
With the 2024-25 FAFSA:
- up to 20 different colleges can be listed on the online FAFSA and have information sent to them (in prior years, only ten colleges could be listed);
- due to a change in the methodology used to determine aid, a Student Aid Index (SAI) – rather than an expected family contribution (EFC) – is used to measure the student's (and, if applicable, the family's) ability to pay for college;
- the new need analysis formula no longer factors the number of family members attending college into the calculation;
- separate criteria to determine eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant Program, linking eligibility to family size and the federal poverty level, make program funds available to more students; and,
- revisions to several of the processes and systems used to award federal student aid are required, including a new interface to directly receive federal tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The Financial Aid: Completing the FAFSA area of ISAC's website is updated on a regular basis as details are released regarding the 2024-25 federal process for requesting financial aid. Students and their families may also wish to visit the Federal Student Aid studentaid.gov website for more information.
By June 30: High School Juniors Take College Assessment Exams for State Scholar Consideration
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, 2022 and June 30, 2023 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 2024-25 academic year, will be named Scholars during the fall of 2023). Further details are provided at the State Scholar Program page of our website.
2023-24 FAFSA and Alternative Application Remain Available
The 2023-24 FAFSA remains available online, and – if not already done – should be completed as soon as possible by families of students who will be attending college between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024. Specific details, including links to several online resources, may be accessed via the Financial Aid Planning section (which is located within the Students & Parents – Before College area). FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant, as well as several other forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance.
In addition, the 2023-24 Alternative Application is also available (in English and Spanish). Qualifying undocumented students may file the Alternative Application – which is patterned after the FAFSA – to apply for the MAP grant. Further details are provided at ISAC's Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act page.
2022-23 FAFSA and Alternative Application Remain Available
If not already done, students who are enrolled for the 2022-23 academic year should be encouraged to submit their FAFSA (or, if applicable, Alternative Application) as soon as possible. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional financial assistance.
First Generation Scholars Network
If your child will be the first in your family to earn a college degree, encourage them to join the First Generation Scholars Network to get support and resources from ISAC, theirr peers, and colleges across the state. If they are heading to their first year of college this fall, they'll find events and programs that provide tools, resources, mentoring, and connections that can help make the transition easier.
Online Resource Helps Students Find Leads for Summer Employment/Internships
Students seeking summer jobs or internships should be encouraged to follow the "Internship and Summer Jobs" link from the Toolbox area of the ISAC Student Portal.
ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:
- Monday, May 29 – Memorial Day
- Monday, June 19 – Juneteenth
- Tuesday, July 4 – Independence Day
Staff will again be available the first business day immediately following each holiday.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.