ISAC giving free assistance statewide for students completing financial applications

ROCKFORD, Unwell. (WIFR) – Whereas college students are struggling nationwide with distant schooling and school plans appear to be extra up within the air than ever, there may be some excellent news in Illinois.

Illinois closed out the yr rating the #1 state for completions of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the shape most college students use to use for federal and state monetary help for postsecondary schooling, in line with Gov. Pritzker’s workplace.

To handle a few of the pandemic-related challenges dealing with excessive faculties and graduating seniors in finishing monetary help purposes for subsequent fall, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission is including initiatives to its school outreach applications. From focused outreach and one-on-one help to college students and households, to on-line monetary help modules that academics can use with their college students, the state’s school entry and monetary help company is dedicated to offering free statewide helps for college students and faculties.

“With many college students and households dealing with sickness and lack of family members, monetary misery, and all of the challenges of distant studying, it may be onerous to deal with the now, a lot much less contemplate the longer term,” Eric Zarnikow, government director of ISAC mentioned. “However as we glance to higher days forward for subsequent fall, we wish to be sure that our highschool seniors and grownup college students have utilized for and might obtain the monetary help for which they’re eligible. Realizing what funding you have got out there for postsecondary schooling is a crucial milestone in making that schooling occur.”

A brand new regulation, which took impact with the 2020-2021 college yr, requires public highschool seniors to finish the FAFSA or, if eligible, the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, as a prerequisite to receiving a highschool diploma. (A waiver provision permits a mother or father, guardian, or the scholar – if 18 or emancipated – to choose out of the requirement.)

Details about FAFSA Mandate coaching and assist for college counselors and different professionals is obtainable here.

“Making completion of a monetary help utility a part of an expectation for highschool commencement can enhance the variety of college students who’re conscious of the sources out there to assist them afford schooling or coaching after highschool. This info also can assist some college students resolve to aim school when they may not in any other case have accomplished so, and it might assist some college students restrict pupil mortgage debt and take a fuller course load to extra rapidly full a level or credential,” in line with the governor’s workplace.

ISAC is reaching out instantly to varsities that beforehand participated within the CCE marketing campaign and is providing the next free helps statewide:

• On-line monetary help completion workshops for college students and oldsters. See here for statewide digital occasions.

• Particular person help to college students and oldsters in finishing monetary help purposes, by way of internet conferencing, cellphone, textual content, or e-mail. Contact your local ISACorps member free of charge help. Sign up for ISAC’s free textual content messaging app to get school/monetary help questions answered by way of textual content.

• ISAC’s FAFSA Completion Initiative and direct outreach to college students. ISAC’s FAFSA Completion Initiative gives Illinois college districts a option to establish college students who haven’t submitted both a FAFSA or Different Software. The appliance completion info – up to date on a weekly foundation – can be utilized by district counselors to assist attain college students who might have help or encouragement to finish an utility. To assist busy college counselors and with college permission, ISAC can instantly attain out to and help college students who haven’t accomplished a FAFSA. Discover out extra here.

• Monetary Assist On-line Studying Module for school rooms. ISAC is creating a web based studying module for faculties to make use of as a part of their distant studying curriculum, which features a video and a studying packet.

• QR code for outreach to college students and households. To enhance outreach to college students and households through the pandemic, ISAC can be introducing a QR code that hyperlinks to easy and accessible info for college students and households about how one can get free help with monetary help purposes. ISAC is partnering with a number of faculties to pilot a program that can affix stickers with this QR code to free and diminished meal containers and printed studying supplies. College students and households will be capable of scan the QR code with their telephones to entry the knowledge.

“We wish to be sure that each highschool senior and grownup pupil in Illinois is aware of that finishing a monetary help utility is a crucial step for his or her future,” Jacqueline Moreno, ISAC’s director of Faculty Entry and Outreach mentioned. “We might help make the appliance course of pretty fast and simple for many college students.”

ISACorps members can be found all through the state providing free help to assist college students and households full and submit an utility. Discover your ISACorps member here.

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