ISAC's mission is making college accessible and affordable for Illinois students. In 1957, state lawmakers created the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to ensure that financial considerations did not prevent Illinois students from realizing their postsecondary educational goals. Since then, the number of students we assist and the number of programs we administer have increased steadily, as has the scope of the services provided to support those programs. At every stage of the financial aid process, ISAC is there, acting as a centralized source of information and guidance and offering a comprehensive array of programs and services. Our priority has remained constant. Today, as in 1957, that priority continues to be making postsecondary education accessible and affordable for the students and families of Illinois.
Taking our mission one step further, ISAC has adopted the nationwide goal in support of college completion - to help Illinois increase to 60% the proportion of adults with a postsecondary credential by 2025. In conjunction, the agency has adapted the nationwide goal to one that is more specific and applicable to one of the major groups of students we serve – to help Illinois increase to at least 45% the postsecondary completion rate of low-income students. Achieving this goal involves many approaches that include improving the high school to college transition for students in need, providing support to students in college or returning to college, helping families pay for college, building external support for the goal, and providing high-quality, informed research.