Volume 21, Number 2
October 2011 - December 2011
Welcome to the October - December 2011 electronic ISAC Communiqué, which is a quarterly compilation of e-Messages sent through College Illinois! e-Messaging service throughout October, November and December.
The articles in this electronic Communiqué have been organized according to the Counselor Subscription groups to which the messages were distributed.
Questions regarding information in this electronic Communiqué can be directed to School Services at 866.247.2172 or at ISAC.email@example.com. On occasion, you may be directed to a specific contact person or area; when this occurs, we will provide the appropriate information in the individual article or message.
Multiple Subscription Groups
2012-13 Applications for Teacher Education Programs Available - Due on or before March 1, 2012
Sent to High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, and Community Organizations on December 18, 2011.
2012-13 MTI Scholarship Interactive Application Launched
The interactive application for 2012-13 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program is now available. This online application offers such benefits as providing program information at the applicant's fingertips, performing online edits to prevent errors, allowing faster delivery time, and generating immediate confirmation that the application has been received.
Details about this program, including specifics on how to apply, are provided for applicants at the MTI Scholarship Program page (which is located within the Students & Parents - During College – Types of Financial Aid area at collegeillinois.org).
As a reminder, only applicants with a valid digital ID from the State of Illinois will be able to access the online application. Applicants who obtained a digital ID for a previous year's application process will use that same digital ID this year. Detailed information regarding the MTI Scholarship Program and the application process is available within the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area (which may be access via collegeillinois.org/faa). These resources will assist you with questions you receive from students regarding the MTI Scholarship application process.
Applicants have access to information regarding the application process, including instructions for specific application fields, once they access the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program application area and launch the application.
2012-13 Illinois SETTW Program Application Available
The 2012-13 Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Application is now available to print, complete and submit. Students pursuing a degree in special education who are willing to commit to teaching in Illinois after completing their degrees may be eligible to apply. Details about this program, including eligibility requirements, are provided in the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.
Holidays from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, What's Next Illinois Counselors, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on December 14, 2011.
Our entire organization would like to wish all of our high school, college, community organization and library partners a safe and very happy holiday season.
We appreciate having the opportunity to serve you, and look forward to working with you throughout the next year. Regardless of the challenges and changes that may come our way, we remain confident that by working together with you, we will be successful in our goal of making college accessible and affordable for Illinois students.
Best wishes for a healthy and peaceful 2012.
ISAC's Holiday Schedule
In observance of the holidays, ISAC staff will be unavailable as indicated below:
Christmas Holiday Observation
New Year's Holiday Observation
- After 2 p.m. (CT) on Friday, December 23, 2011
- Monday, December 26, 2011
Remember that you can access collegeillinois.org/counselor anytime, or send an e-mail message to ISAC's School Services Department (firstname.lastname@example.org). With the exception of days when the ISAC offices are closed, ISAC staff will review and respond to messages during regular business hours (Monday through Friday,
- After 2 p.m. (CT) on Friday, December 30, 2011
- Monday, January 2, 2012
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CT).
2012-13 State Scholar AnnouncementsThe Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is pleased to announce that qualified Illinois high school students have been designated as 2012-13 State Scholars.
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators and High School Counselors/Teachers on November 30, 2011.
Listing of State Scholars Available Online
A listing of all 2012-13 State Scholars - displayed alphabetically by high school, within each school's county - is now available within the Before College area of the Students & Parents section at collegeillinois.org.
By replacing the paper rosters that were mailed to high schools in previous years, the online listing (which was first introduced with 2009-10 State Scholars) supports our continuing efforts to conserve both financial and natural resources.
Certificates of Achievement Mailed to Schools
The Certificates of Achievement have been mailed to high schools for their State Scholars. Counselors may distribute the certificates according to the preferences of each school. For those schools presenting the Certificates of Achievement to State Scholars during a future high school honors ceremony, counselors are reminded to keep the certificates in a location where they can be easily accessed when needed.
To further assist schools in announcing State Scholars, a press release will soon be available via the State Scholar Finalists page, which is located within the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area and may be accessed via collegeillinois.org/counselor. Once the updated press release is available, it will be announced via the Counselor Message Board and the State Scholar Program News section.
ISAC mailed individual congratulatory letters directly to State Scholars prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Appeals Due On or Before January 27
Counselors should carefully review the sixth-semester roster data they submitted to ISAC, in order to ensure there are no errors in the announcement of 2012-13 State Scholars. To assist in the review, details regarding the State Scholar Selection Process are provided within the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.
If a high school counselor feels that a student should have been designated as a State Scholar and was not, ISAC must receive a letter of appeal from the student on or before Friday, January 27, 2012. Details regarding the appeals process are provided at the Appeals page, located within the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.
2011-12 Financial Aid Certification Program (New) - Online Registration Is Now Open for Winter Sessions! Brought to You by the Illinois Student Assistance CommissionAfter a successful start to our fall certification schedule, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is happy to announce that online registration is now open for our next set of certification sessions!
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, College Admission Counselors, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants, Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange College Participants, What's Next Illinois Counselors, Community Organizations and Public Libraries on November 22, 2011.
It is critical that professionals who interact with Illinois students during the financial aid and college application processes are knowledgeable about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and financial aid. This year, ISAC is integrating its professional development opportunities, highly acclaimed by new and seasoned counselors and mentors, into a formalized annual certification series that gives professionals a detailed understanding of financial aid programs and systems. For the first time, ISAC is providing participants session-specific knowledge assessments to measure their comprehension of the financial aid content and trusted resources presented. Session participants that successfully pass each knowledge assessment will receive an official certificate of completion from ISAC via e-mail.
ISAC also awards Professional Counselor/Clinical Counselor Continuing Education (CE) credits and Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) to session participants at a rate of one per contact hour. In order to earn these units and/or credits, it is necessary to attend each session in its entirety and complete one Session-Specific Knowledge Assessment, an ISAC and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Evaluation Form, and an ISBE Evidence of Completion at the end of each session.
Plan to participate in one or several of these opportunities brought to a location near your home or office by ISAC's Division for College Access and Outreach. All sessions are offered at no cost to counselors, mentors, and members of the general public.
Below is an overview of the winter sessions that will be offered this year.
Sessions will be offered in January and February at 10 locations. Online registration is now available at collegeillinois.org/FinancialAidCertification/.
Winter sessions will run from 8:30 am to noon.
Session 1 - Expert Guide: FASFA Relevant Documents
Get your hands on a printed resource designed specifically for counselors and mentors. We review a collection of documents that are references for the FAFSA.
Session 2 - FAFSA Expert Training: Need Analysis and EFC Calculations
How do they come up with the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? Learn how factors such as parents' age, income, savings and family size are used in the federal methodology to determine the EFC. Using lifelike scenarios, participants complete guided calculations to learn the intricacies of determining financial need.
Winter Sites Include:
|January 18, 2012
||ISAC, Deerfield, IL|
|January 20, 2012
||Robert Morris University, Chicago, IL|
|January 26, 2012
||Kaskaskia College, Centralia, IL|
|January 27, 2012
||Parkland College, Champaign, IL|
|February 7, 2012
||Roosevelt University, |
|February 9, 2012
||Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, IL|
|February 14, 2012
||Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield, IL|
|February 15, 2012
||Carl Sandburg College, Galesburg, IL|
|February 16, 2012
||Kishwaukee College, Malta, IL|
|February 24, 2012
||Truman College, Chicago, IL|
How to Register
Registration details, including dates and locations, are available online at collegeillinois.org/FinancialAidCertification/ and from the Partner Training area of ISAC's e-Library (which may be accessed via collegeillinois.org/counselor). For your convenience, we will be sending e-Messages with the latest information and updates about this series of year-round sessions. If you have colleagues who are not already e-Messaging subscribers, encourage them to sign up at collegeillinois.org/application/registration/.
Send us your questions via e-mail at ISAC.OutreachTraining@isac.illinois.gov.
HSSP Sixth Semester Roster DataHSSP 6th Semester Academic Information Rosters, Certification Forms and blank Rank-in-Class Rosters [used to identify students who may be eligible for the Illinois State Scholar Program for the 2012-13 academic year] were sent on October 4 to Illinois high schools which did not submit school-generated roster data.
Due November 4, 2011
Sent to Principals/Superintendents/Administrators, High School Counselors/Teachers, and Illinois Electronic Transcript Exchange High School Participants on October 4, 2011.
As a reminder, this data was used in prior years to determine eligibility for both the State Scholar and Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship programs [collectively referred to as the High School Scholarship Programs (HSSP)]. However, because no federal funding will be appropriated for 2011-12 Byrd awards and the status of Byrd funding for future years is unknown, sixth-semester data that is submitted this year will be used only to determine State Scholar eligibility.
Rosters Due On or Before November 4
Completed rosters, which aid in the identification of State Scholar recipients, are due back to ISAC on or before Friday, November 4, 2011. Instructions for completing the rosters were included in the mailing, and are also available within the Sixth Semester Roster Packet section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area (which may be accessed via collegeillinois.org/counselor).
School-Generated Data Still Being Accepted
If high schools prefer, they can still submit accurate sixth semester school-generated data (special care should be taken to ensure that only sixth semester data - defined as the third semester prior to graduation - is submitted).
Complete information regarding data submission, including required data and requested disqualification codes, is provided in the Required Sixth Semester Data section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.
As part of our continuing efforts to simplify the HSSP process, the following elements remain in effect for the HSSP cycle:
Announcement of Finalists To Take Place in November
- Weighted grade point averages (GPAs) cannot be accepted.
- If a school ranks, rankings should be provided for the top 50% of the class.
- If a school does not rank, unweighted GPAs should be provided for the top 50% of the class.
We anticipate making final announcement data available to high schools in late November, at which time an award letter will be mailed to each State Scholar Finalist and Certificates of Achievement will be mailed to high schools. An online listing of finalists, displayed alphabetically by high school within each school's Illinois county, is anticipated to be available at the College Illinois! website (collegeillinois.org) in early December.
In order to help us achieve this goal, please make every effort to return your school's sixth semester data as soon as possible.
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High School Counselors/Teachers
ISAC Supports Schools by Sponsoring Mapping Your FutureAs a Sponsoring Guarantor, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) makes it possible for Illinois schools to utilize - currently at no cost as Participating Members - the counseling and other services offered on Mapping Your Future.
Sent on November 7, 2011.
Mapping Your Future recently announced its new Membership Program, providing schools, companies, and other organizations a new way to participate in Mapping Your Future and provide support for the organization and its services for students and families.
Under this new program, Participating Members (comprised of schools, colleges, and universities) will be asked to pay a fee to receive access to programs and benefits, including Online Counseling and other services. Schools located in a state with a designated guaranty agency that supports Mapping Your Future, such as ISAC, will not be charged a membership fee for now. This means that Illinois schools can take advantage of important counseling, default prevention, data collection, and soon-to-be-announced new services that will help them save time and money, as well as assist students.
Mapping Your Future developed the new Membership Program following legislative changes that have impacted the structure of the financial aid industry during the past few years. The new program accommodates those changes, provides access to services based on recent higher education challenges, and enables organizations to support an important public service through membership.
Students and families looking for accurate and neutral college planning tools and services can continue to rely on Mapping Your Future, and Members can be confident that they are helping provide a valuable public service. Mapping Your Future continually reinforces principles that have led to the organization's success. Those principles - reflected in the mission, vision, and core values - are practiced every day by leadership, staff, and volunteers. As a result, Mapping Your Future has created a culture that: serves students and families; emphasizes rapid response to industry changes and customer needs; provides information and services that support college access and success; encourages collaboration through the reliance on volunteer support; and, enables innovation through technological solutions.
For more information about the Mapping Your Future Membership Program, visit http://mappingyourfuture.org/Membership or send an e-mail message to email@example.com.
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ISAC Communiqué for July - September 2011 Now Available
Sent on October 3, 2011
The latest edition of the ISAC Communiqué is now available for your review within the ISAC Publications section of the e-Library, which can be accessed via collegeillinois.org/counselor. This electronic version of ISAC's newsletter is a quarterly compilation of information provided to Counselor partners via ISAC's e-Messaging service during the months of July, August and September.
Topics covered in this electronic Communiqué include:
Electronic newsletters are available at the beginning of each quarter (January, April, July, and October), and are the compilation of information announced via an e-Message to any of the Counselor subscription groups during the previous quarter.
- 2011-12 Financial Aid Certification Program (New) Online Registration Is Now Open for Fall Sessions! Brought to You by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission
(sent September 15, 2011)
- Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Important Dates
(sent September 13, 2011)
- Commission Meeting to be Held Friday, September 16th
(sent September 13, 2011)
- 2011-12 Financial Aid Certification Program (New) - Brought to You by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission
(sent September 9, 2011)
- Important Reminders Regarding the College Illinois Transcript Exchange
(sent September 7, 2011)
- New Student & Parent Call Center Launched
(sent September 6, 2011)
- College Illinois Transcript Exchange Registration Now Open
(sent August 15, 2011)
- Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Important Dates
(sent August 8, 2011)
- New State Legislative Update Available (Dated August 4, 2011)
(sent August 5, 2011)
- Commission Appoints Interim Executive Director
(sent July 25, 2011)
- FY12 State Budget Approved - Funding in Place for ISAC's Programs
(sent July 21, 2011)
- "Docufide Receiver" Allows Colleges to Access Transcripts via College Illinois Transcript Exchange
(sent July 20, 2011)
- New ISAC Communiqué Available at College Zone (April - June 2011)
(sent July 1, 2011)
Encourage Your Colleagues to Sign Up for e-Messaging
ISAC's e-Messaging service has replaced printed newsletters and special e-mail lists as ISAC's primary means of communicating information to Counselor partners.
Encourage your colleagues to visit the Counselor e-Messaging Sign-up page at collegeillinois.org today, so that they won't miss any future announcements or updates from ISAC.
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