2022-23 FAFSA®, Alternative Application, and Important Dates
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:
2022-23 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023)
New FAFSA and Alternative Application Now Available
2021-22 (July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022)
General Information (Not Specific to One Academic Year)
2022-23 FAFSA® and Alternative Application Now Available
The 2022-23 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is now available online, and should be completed as soon as possible by students who will be attending college between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. 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.
When completing the FAFSA on the Web, which is the method that provides the quickest results for the federal application, remember that you (and your parent, if you are a dependent student) must first obtain an FSA ID from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). If you obtained an FSA ID from ED to apply for financial aid in a prior academic year, that same FSA ID will be used now to complete the 2022-23 FAFSA.
In addition, the 2022-23 Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is also available (in English and Spanish). As a reminder, 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 – to apply for the MAP grant. Because the failure to register for Selective Service no longer disqualifies an applicant from receiving federal student aid, students who have not registered may want to consider completing the FAFSA instead of the Alternative Application to maximize their financial aid opportunities. Further details are provided at ISAC's RISE Act page.
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.
To find an in-person event closest to you and to view a list of virtual events, please visit the Events page at the ISAC Student Portal. In-person events will be conducted in accordance with state and local health guidelines. Advance registration may be required for online events.
English- and Spanish-Speaking Counselors Available to Assist You
If you have questions regarding the financial aid application process, you may speak with an ISAC Call Center Representative by calling 800.899.ISAC (4722). Students with general questions regarding the financial aid application process may also have a real-time conversation with a Call Center Representative by simply clicking on the "Live Support – Online" button, which appears in the right margin of all pages within the During College and After College sections of the Students & Parents area. English- and Spanish-speaking counselors are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (CT).
An ISACorps member in your area can also assist you with the financial aid process.
October is College Changes Everything Month 2021
During the month of October, many high schools throughout Illinois will hold college application and FAFSA completion workshops for their students. College-bound students at participating schools are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities to receive assistance. In-person events will be conducted in accordance with state and local health guidelines.
Resources Available at the ISAC Student Portal
Be sure to visit the ISAC Student Portal to access the following helpful resources.
- For information related to MAP grants:
- MAP Estimator (located in the Toolbox area) – if you are planning on attending an Illinois college, use this tool to get an idea of your eligibility for the MAP grant, and
- MAP Paid Credit Hours Display (located in the Program Applications & Status Checks area) – if you are a MAP grant recipient, use this option to track the number of MAP Paid Credit Hours you have used to date.
- For assistance beyond financial aid:
- Student Resources Beyond Financial Aid (located in the Resources area) – find resources for food, housing, medical care, child and dependent care assistance and consideration because of special circumstances (includes listings of Illinois food pantries on or near college campuses, as well as across the state).
December 1: Priority Deadline Date for Returning MAP Recipients
Returning MAP recipients (i.e., students who received MAP funds during the prior academic year and continue to meet all eligibility requirements) who submit their FAFSAs or Alternative Applications by that academic year's priority deadline date will receive priority access to appropriated MAP funds.
For the 2022-23 academic year, eligible applicants must have received MAP funds during the 2021-22 academic year and submit their 2022-23 FAFSA or Alternative Application on or before December 1, 2021 (which is the 2022-23 priority deadline date) in order to receive priority access to 2022-23 MAP funds.
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. Although effective January 1, 2022, Illinois’ public institutions are prohibited from requiring the submission of student test scores as part of the admissions process, high school junior students who are potential State Scholar candidates will still need to take one of the accepted exams (ACT or SAT) during the specified timeframe to be considered for State Scholar designation.
For current high school juniors, only exams taken between August 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 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 2023-24 academic year, will be named Scholars during the fall of 2022). Further details are provided at the State Scholar Program page of our website.
October 1: ING Grant Applications for Full-Year/Fall Term Due
The interactive application for the 2021-22 Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program is available to complete and submit online via the Program Applications & Status Checks portion of the ISAC Student Portal. Use the 2021-22 application to apply for the fall 2021, spring 2022 and summer 2022 terms. The application priority consideration date for full-year and fall-only awards is October 1, 2021. Applications received after October 1 will be considered only for second semester (second/third quarter) and/or the summer term.
Because this is an entitlement program, eligible recipients will receive benefits regardless of annual appropriations through the state budget process. Illinois public 2- and 4-year colleges are required to waive any eligible tuition and allowable fees that are not covered by state appropriations.
October 1: Grant Programs for Dependents of Police, Fire or Correctional Officers Applications for Full-Year/Fall Term Due
The application for the 2021-22 Grant Program for Dependents of Police or Fire Officers and Grant Program for Dependents of Correctional Officers is available to download and print. Use the 2021-22 application to apply for the fall 2021, spring 2022 and summer 2022 terms. The application priority consideration date for full-year and fall-only awards is October 1, 2021. Applications received after October 1 will be considered only for second semester (second/third quarter) and/or the summer term.
Grant Program for Exonerees Application Available
Program funds are limited. If you have received a pardon from the Governor of the State of Illinois that was issued on the grounds of innocence of the crime for which you had been imprisoned, or have received a certificate of innocence from a circuit court – and you meet all other eligibility requirements for the program – you are encouraged to complete and submit the application as soon as possible.
2021-22 FAFSA and Alternative Application Remain Available
Although ISAC has suspended the announcement of 2021-22 MAP grants (for all students whose initial 2021-22 FAFSA is received by the federal processor, or whose initial Alternative Application is received by ISAC, on or after August 27, 2021), these 2021-22 applications remain available online. If not already done, an application 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 other forms of federal, state and institutional financial assistance. The suspension of 2021-22 MAP award announcements does not impact any other financial aid programs.
MTI Scholarship Applications Still Being Accepted
The 2021-22 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program application continues to be accepted, even though the March 1, 2021 priority consideration date has passed. Complete applications received after that date will be considered for the MTI Program 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. After entering and submitting their data using the online application, applicants should follow the on-screen instructions to print the completed application, sign it, and mail it to ISAC. Important: the application is not complete until the Application/Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, with an original ink signature, is received at ISAC.
ISAC staff will be unavailable for these holidays:
- Monday, October 11 – Columbus Day
- Thursday, November 11 – Veterans Day
- Thursday, November 25 – Thanksgiving Day
- Friday, November 26 – Day after Thanksgiving
- Friday, December 24 – Christmas (observed)
- Friday, December 31 – New Year's (observed)
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.