October is College Changes Everything® Month in Illinois

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) developed CCE Month to help ensure that all Illinois students and families have access to expert help with college applications and financial aid—and scheduled it to support students who, as a result of changes made by the U.S. Department of Education, now apply both for college admissions and for financial aid in the fall. 

October 1 is the federal government’s new release date for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the key to securing aid for college, from the federal Pell Grant to the state MAP Grant, work-study opportunities, and even federal student loans.  Since state- and school-funded programs have limited resources, filing the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1, 2017, gives students the best chance of getting funding for the 2018-19 academic year. 

During CCE Month, you can:

Attend a financial aid presentation, college application workshop, or FAFSA completion event to receive expert guidance through the process. More than a thousand sessions are scheduled across Illinois during CCE Month. A majority are being held at high schools, but additional public events are listed at studentportal/ (Note that this link only lists sessions that are open to all, so it doesn’t reflect most school-sponsored events.  If nothing is listed nearby, students can check with their high schools to find out if a workshop is already scheduled.) 

Get in touch with an ISACorps member for individual assistance navigating the college search, application, and financial aid processes.  These intensively-trained recent college graduates are based in locations across Illinois, and they’re available to help one-on-one, year-round.  Your constituents can find contact information for their local ISACorps members by visiting studentportal/

Ask questions in an ISAC Facebook Live event. Outreach staff will answer financial aid questions during five Facebook Live events, from 7:00-7:30 pm CST on October 3, 11, 16, 23, and 30th.

Sign up for ISAC College Q&A, our text messaging service that allows students to get answers to their questions, plus event information and deadline reminders, sent directly to their phones.

Check out the ISAC Student Portal, an award-winning collection of free online resources for students, including financial aid estimators, scholarship search tools, college preparation checklists, and more.

Contact ISAC’s Call Center at 1-800-899-4722 (ISAC).

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