JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Upcoming Important Dates from ISAC

05/12/2020

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:

COVID-19 Resources and Updates

General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)

2019-20 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020)

2020-21 (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021)

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


COVID-19 RESOURCES AND UPDATES

Although we are working differently during this time, we want students and their families to know that ISAC continues to be here to answer your questions and to support all Illinoisans with college planning and financial aid. Find important resources and the latest updates at the College-Going and Financial Aid Resources and Services During the Coronavirus Outbreak page of our website.


GENERAL INFORMATION

Student Job Board Provides Leads for Summer Employment/Internships

Students seeking summer jobs or internships are 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.

Holiday Schedules

ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:

  • Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day
  • Friday, July 3 – 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.


2019-20 ACADEMIC YEAR

Graduating from College This Spring?

Review MTI Scholarship and SETTW Program Requirements

If you received awards from the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship or Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) programs, review the program requirements to make sure you fulfill all obligations and prevent your award from converting to a loan.

In addition, check out the Teaching page for resources to help you find a job and manage any student loan debt.

Make Plans for Student Loan Repayment

Note: In addition to the below, which describes student loan repayment under normal circumstances, be sure to also visit ISAC's Student Loan Repayment during the Coronavirus Outbreak page for information specific to the current times.

College seniors with student loans who will graduate at the end of the spring term are reminded to contact the holder of their loans to make repayment arrangements. For questions about the identity/location of your loan servicer(s), loan amounts and outstanding balances, access "My Federal Student Aid" via the Federal Student Aid website or the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®).

Federal student loans offer multiple payment options based on the borrower's financial situation. Information regarding available loan repayment plans can be found at the Federal Student Aid website. In preparation for contacting your servicer to set up your repayment schedule, we encourage you to research the available options to learn which may work best for you. In addition, be sure to check out loan forgiveness/cancellation options when considering your employment and repayment plans.

Before your first payment is due, you typically will be given a grace period of six months, starting the day you drop below half-time enrollment. If you miss or fall short of a payment, your loan will become delinquent and may even default. A defaulted loan will have a negative impact on you, costing you more money and leaving you with a bad credit rating for up to seven years after the loan is paid in full. To help manage your student loan debt and avoid default, stay in touch with your lender or servicer.

June 15: ING Grant Summer Term Application Deadline

June 15, 2020 is the final date summer term applications will be accepted for the 2019-20 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program.

Because this is an entitlement program, eligible recipients will receive their awards regardless of annual funding through the state budget process. Illinois public two- and four-year colleges are required to waive any eligible tuition and allowable fees that are not covered by state funding.

June 15: Police, Fire, or Correctional Officer Grants Summer Term Application Deadline

June 15, 2020 is the final date summer term applications will be accepted for the 2019-20 Grant Program for Dependents of Police or Fire Officers and the 2019-20 Grant Program for Dependents of Correctional Officers.


2020-21 ACADEMIC YEAR

FAFSA® Still Available

The 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is 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, 2020 and June 30, 2021. FAFSA results are used to determine eligibility for several forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance, including the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Check out the Students & ParentsBefore College area for information regarding resources that are available to help you complete the financial aid process, including the Financial Aid: Completing the FAFSA page (located in the Financial Aid Planning section). You will also find information on the ISACorps, ISAC's group of recent college graduates who are trained to serve as near peer mentors to high school students. In addition, access is provided to a listing of several events that are being offered for college-bound students and their families. Typically, these opportunities would include in-person college planning and financial aid presentations but, during the COVID-19 pandemic, focus on weekly Facebook Live Events. Plan to participate in the event that best fits your schedule.

Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Available

Undocumented and transgender students meeting the criteria of the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act may file the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid – which is patterned after the FAFSA – to apply for the MAP grant. Further details, including access to the application, are provided at the RISE Act page.

By End of May: Program Applications to be Available

2020-21 applications for the following programs are anticipated to be available via the Applications page by the end of May.

MTI Scholarship Applications Still Being Accepted

The 2020-210 MTI Scholarship Program application continues to be accepted, even though the March 1, 2020 priority consideration date has passed. Complete applications received after that date will be considered for the MTI Program only if funding remains after all applicants whose applications were timely and complete have been awarded. All minority students who meet the program's eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. Download and print a PDF version and submit the completed application to ISAC as soon as possible.


2021-22 ACADEMIC YEAR

COVID-19 Impact on Designation of State Scholars

ISAC is aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the postponement or cancellation of many spring 2020 college entrance exams (i.e., SAT and ACT), the results of which would normally be used when selecting 2021-22 State Scholars. The State Scholar Program page of our website will be updated if further information becomes available, based on the status of the college entrance exams.

You are receiving this message because you registered for ISAC's e-Messaging service through the Students 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), sending an e-mail message to isac.studentservices@illinois.gov or chatting live with one of our representatives through the "Live Support-Online" button in the Students & Parents area of our website.

Get information anytime about the college-going process and ISAC programs on ISAC's website and Student Portal, both accessible at isac.org.