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November 13, 2009

ISAC Celebrates American Education Week With Financial Aid Workshops, Prepaid Tuition Discounts
Workshops to teach students and parents the basics of accessing financial aid, prepaid tuition plan prices to remain at lowest of the season through November

Chicago, Ill—Just in time for American Education Week, the designated time when parents and educators ponder ways to ensure quality education for students at all levels, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will offer free workshops that help families pay current college costs and map out strategies to cover future tuition expenses. 

“The workshops will give families the tools they need to create a strategy that allows them to maximize scholarship and grant opportunities and to complete college debt free or with minimal debt,” said ISAC Assistant Director of Regional Outreach Campaigns Albert Hogan.  The series will begin Monday, November 16, 2009 with a 6 p.m. financial aid presentation at the State Bank of Toulon, 102 W Main St., Toulon, Illinois and a 7 p.m. workshop hosted by Hogan at Huntington Learning Center, 1130 Douglas Road, Oswego, Illinois. Both workshops are free to the public.

Hogan will share anecdotes, answer questions and offer tips and advice about navigating the financial aid process.  Parents will learn how to apply for aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and get information about additional resources.  Other workshops planned this week include November 18 sessions at Clemente High School in Chicago and Highland High School in Highland, Illinois, a November 19 session at Romeoville High School in Romeoville, Illinois, a November 20 session at Mount Olive High School in Mt. Olive, Illinois, a November 20 session at Olive Harvey College in Chicago and a November 21 session at College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois.  Workshops are offered year-round, at no cost, in locations and communities across the state that are conveniently located near the homes of students and their families.  For a complete schedule of upcoming workshops, visit http://collegezone.com/informationzone/10_7963.htm.

Parents who are getting an earlier start can purchase a College Illinois!® 529 Prepaid Tuition plan cheaper now than at other time during the 2009-10 enrollment cycle.  Current pricing ends November 30, and families who buy now will save thousands on future tuition and fees. To enroll in the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program online, visit www.529prepaidtuition.org, or call 877-877-3724 for program information, materials and enrollment guidelines.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission provides students of all ages and backgrounds with the resources and support to obtain financial aid for higher education. A state agency, ISAC has paved the path to post-secondary education with innovative programs for over 50 years. Last year alone, ISAC continued its mission to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students by issuing 186,000 grants and scholarships  totaling nearly $431 million. 

The Commission provides educational funding with student loans, as a loan guarantor and via numerous public programs such as the Monetary Award Program  (MAP), the Illinois Veteran Grant  and College Illinois! ® 529 Prepaid Tuition. Students and families have free access to a wealth of financial aid and college planning information at ISAC’s family of websites available at www.knowhow2GOIllinois.org.


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