College Planning Made Easy
You did it! You made the decision to go to college—or at least explore your options. That's a great start!
So what do you do next? The ISAC Student Portal can help you with each step in the college-going process by giving you best in class online tools and the information you will need to make smart college choices, navigate the financial aid process, and manage your money—all in one place!
College & Scholarship Search
Cappex is a robust source to help you find the college you want and the scholarships you need. Create a free profile to find your college, read student reviews and get scholarship matches.
Cappex offers an array of college-focused resources:
- Get matched with scholarships that best fit you and your background
- Compare your top colleges based on what matters most to you
- Use the What Are My Chances® Calculator to predict your chances of being admitted to the colleges of your choice
- Use the Campus Visit Planner tool to help you plan a trip to any college
- The Cappex College Fit Meter will show you if a specific college is the right fit for you
Useful Tool: Steps to college check list
Choosing and applying to college may seem like a daunting task, but we've broken down the process into four simple steps. Use our 4 Steps to College Checklist for a stress-free experience.
Another simple tool to help you find colleges that might be a fit. Enter your ACT score and your grade point average (GPA) to get a list of colleges that match your qualifications.
Wondering how to keep control of your finances? SALT is a free resource that makes it simple for you to take control of your finances, including student loans. Create a profile to learn more about building money skills for life and how to successfully manage college and other debt. SALT offers a variety of easy-to-use resources.
- Learn money management skills through "My Money 101™" online personal finance curriculum
- Keep track of all debt - car payments, credit cards, student loans - in one place
- Personalize a student loan repayment plan and use the Repayment Navigator to track loans
ISAC also provides detailed information about repaying your student loans, links to a variety of online repayment and cost calculators, and information about loan forgiveness programs!
Financial Aid Planning & Applying
The ISAC Student Portal is growing!
The Student Portal continues to grow and we’re working on adding additional online functionality allowing students who create a student portal profile to apply for a variety of ISAC-administered scholarship and grant programs, check the status of their applications, and make any necessary changes. In addition, graduates who are able to take advantage of loan forgiveness programs will be able to complete their applications and track their status in those programs.
Create an ISAC Student Portal Profile now and we’ll keep you up to date as all these new features become available!
Navigating the financial aid process can seem pretty overwhelming, so let ISAC help you and your family through the process of understanding and applying for financial aid. Start with financial aid planning, where you can learn about how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), find out how you can attend a financial aid workshop, or get one-on-one assistance with the process from a member of the ISACorps working in your area.
Get more details on types of financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and work study.
ISAC Scholarship and Grant Applications:
Our first online application, for the Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant is now available. If you are a member of the Illinois National Guard, find out if you are eligible for the grant and apply online now!
ING Grant applicants can complete and submit program applications using their ISAC Student Portal profile information--the system will automatically fill in those items on the ING application, and then process it after you complete the rest.
Useful Tool: Financial Aid Award Letter Comparison
Our online Financial Aid Award Comparison Worksheet allows you to generate a side-by-side comparison of the financial aid offers you have received from the colleges to which you have been admitted, so you can make smarter college choices.
Federal & State Aid Estimators:
FAFSA4caster will estimate your eligibility for federal student aid, including the Pell Grant, work study and student loans. It will also determine your expected family contribution (EFC), which you will need to complete the Monetary Award Program (MAP) Estimator. If you already know your EFC, you can proceed to the MAP Estimator.
Monetary Award Program (MAP) Estimator
If you plan to attend an Illinois college, use this MAP Estimator to get an idea of your eligibility for the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP). You will need to know your expected family contribution (EFC) to use the Estimator. If you are a dependent student, you will also need to know your adjusted gross income (AGI) from the most recent tax year, as well as your cash, savings and checking account balances. If you don’t already know your EFC, use the FAFSA4caster above.
Career and Job Search
Whether you already know what you want to do, are looking to switch careers, or want to explore career options, the IDES Illinois Career Information System (CIS) offers the in-depth career resources to do it!
Find information on occupations, salaries and working conditions, growth within career fields, and more. You can even build a resume, search for jobs, negotiate your salary and get tips on how to succeed in your new position.