TITLE 23: EDUCATION AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
SUBTITLE A: EDUCATION
CHAPTER XIX: ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION
PART 2765 ILLINOIS SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER TUITION WAIVER (SETTW) PROGRAM
SECTION 2765.30 PROGRAM PROCEDURES
Section 2765.30 Program Procedures
a) A completed ISAC application for the Illinois SETTW Program must be postmarked on or before March 1 immediately preceding the academic year for which the tuition waiver is being requested, in order to receive priority consideration for an award.
b) ISAC applications for the Illinois SETTW Program are available from eligible institutions, ISAC's website and ISAC's Springfield, Deerfield and Chicago offices.
c) If the student section of an application is incomplete, ISAC will notify the applicant. The applicant will then have an opportunity to furnish the missing information; however, the application will be considered for processing as of the date when the student section is complete and received in ISAC's Deerfield office.
d) Before March 1 of each year, principals of public, private and parochial high schools in Illinois will provide the names of all students in their high school who are anticipated to be qualified applicants.
e) ISAC shall annually award 250 Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waivers as provided in this subsection (e).
1) Currently Licensed Teachers
A) A maximum of 40 tuition waivers may be awarded annually to qualified applicants who hold a valid teaching license that is not in the discipline of Special Education.
B) If more than 40 applicants qualify under these provisions, a lottery shall be used to select 40 recipients.
2) Applicants Graduating from High School in the Current Award Year
A) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e)(4), a minimum of 105 tuition waivers shall be awarded annually to students scheduled to graduate from an approved high school in the academic year in which the award is made and who rank in the upper half of their class at the end of the sixth semester.
B) ISAC shall select recipients under this subsection (e)(2) from among qualified applicants based on the highest ACT or SAT scores from the time periods set forth in the State Scholar Program (23 Ill. Adm. Code 2760.20(b), (c) and (d), as converted according to the Illinois Standard Test Score table (Section 2760.30(c)).
C) If the number of qualified applicants sharing the same Illinois Standard Test Score exceeds the number of tuition waivers to be awarded, a lottery shall be used to select the awardees.
3) Applicants Not Graduating from High School in the Current Award Year
A) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e)(4), a minimum of 105 tuition waivers shall be awarded annually to qualified applicants who have graduated from an approved high school prior to the academic year in which the award is made.
B) If the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of tuition waivers to be awarded, a lottery shall be used to select the awardees.
4) Rollover of Unused Tuition Waivers
A) Any of the available tuition waivers not awarded under subsection (e)(1) shall be added to the pool of available waivers under subsection (e)(2).
B) If the number of qualified applicants under subsection (e)(2) or (e)(3) is insufficient to utilize all of the waivers available under those subsections, the remainder shall be transferred to the pool of waivers under the other subsection if the other subsection has qualified applicants who have not yet been awarded a waiver.
f) Notice of eligibility will be sent by July 1 to each qualified applicant who is selected to receive a tuition waiver. The qualified applicant is then responsible for providing a copy of the notice of eligibility to the institution. All other qualified applicants will be notified that they were not selected.
g) Tuition waivers are applicable towards credit for any semester/quarter within an academic year.
h) A recipient shall be exempt from paying tuition and mandatory fees for up to four calendar years.
i) Prior to receiving assistance, the qualified applicant must sign a Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, which must be submitted to ISAC. The Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note shall include the following stipulations:
1) the recipient pledges to begin teaching on a full-time basis, in the field of Special Education, within one year following graduation from or termination of enrollment in a teacher education program, at a nonprofit, public, private or parochial preschool, elementary or secondary school in Illinois and to continue teaching for at least 2 of the 5 years immediately following;
2) if the teaching requirement is not fulfilled, the tuition waiver converts to a loan and the recipient must repay the entire amount of the tuition waiver (prorated according to the fraction of the teaching obligation not completed), plus interest at a rate equal to 5% per annum; and
3) the recipient agrees to provide ISAC with evidence of compliance with program requirements (e.g., responses to annual follow-up questionnaires, etc.).
j) The five-year time period during which the teaching requirement must be fulfilled may be extended if the recipient:
1) serves, for not more than three years, as a member of the United States Armed Forces;
2) is enrolled full-time in an academic program related to the field of teaching, leading to a graduate or postgraduate degree;
3) is temporarily totally disabled for a period of time not to exceed three years, as established by the sworn affidavit of a qualified physician;
4) is actively seeking but unable to find full-time employment as a teacher at an Illinois public, private, or parochial school for one continuous period not to exceed two years, and is able to provide evidence of that fact;
5) is taking additional courses, on at least a half-time basis, needed to obtain licensure as a teacher in Illinois; or
6) is fulfilling teaching requirements associated with other programs administered by ISAC if he or she cannot concurrently fulfill them in a period of time equal to the length of the teaching obligation.
k) A recipient may be granted a leave of absence by the president of the institution, or his/her designee, for the following reasons:
1) earning funds to defray the recipient's educational expenses;
2) illness of the recipient or a member of the recipient's immediate family, as established by the sworn statement of a licensed physician; or
3) military service.
l) A recipient must complete his or her course of study within six years including leaves of absence. A recipient must remain enrolled on a continuous basis during the regular school year for four years, unless granted a leave of absence. However, a leave of absence granted for military service shall not be considered part of the six years within which a recipient must complete a degree.
m) A recipient shall enter repayment status on the earliest of the following dates:
1) the first day of the first calendar month after the recipient has ceased to pursue a course of study leading to initial licensure as a teacher in Special Education, but not until six months have elapsed after the cessation of at least half-time enrollment in such a course of study. A recipient who has transferred and is waiting to be accepted into the Special Education program at the new university shall not be subject to this provision provided he or she is enrolled and is pursuing course work that meets the new university's requirements to gain admission to the Special Education program;
2) the date the recipient informs ISAC that he or she does not plan to fulfill the teaching obligation; or
3) the latest date upon which the recipient must have begun teaching in order to complete the teaching obligation within five years after completing the postsecondary education for which the waiver was awarded.
n) If a recipient is required to repay any portion of a tuition waiver awarded prior to July 1, 2014, the repayment period shall be completed within five years after the tuition waiver converts to a loan. If a recipient is required to repay any portion of a tuition waiver awarded after July 1, 2014, the repayment period shall be completed within 10 years after the tuition waiver converts to a loan. Repayment periods may be extended if a recipient:
1) serves, for not more than three years, as a member of the United States Armed Forces;
2) is temporarily disabled, for not more than three years, as established by the sworn affidavit of a licensed physician;
3) is pursuing a graduate or postgraduate degree and is enrolled on a full-time basis for one continuous period of time not to exceed three years;
4) is seeking and unable to find full-time employment for one continuous period not to exceed two years and is able to provide evidence of that fact; or
5) withdraws from a course of study leading to teacher licensure in Special Education but remains enrolled on at least a half-time basis in another academic discipline.
o) During the time a recipient qualifies for any of the extensions listed in subsection (n) of this Section, he or she shall not be required to make payments and interest shall not continue to accrue.
p) A recipient shall not be required to pay the amount of the tuition and fees waived if he or she becomes permanently totally disabled, as established by the sworn affidavit of a licensed physician (see, e.g., 34 CFR 682.402(c)), or if his or her representative provides ISAC with a death certificate or other evidence that the recipient has died.
q) A holder of a tuition waiver must register for enrollment in a special education program of teacher education within ten days after the beginning of the term for which the tuition waiver was initially awarded. If the recipient fails to comply with this requirement, he or she will forfeit the tuition waiver and ISAC will award it to another qualified applicant.
(Source: Amended at 42 Ill. Reg. 13657, effective July 1, 2018)