November 2023 IllinoisCAN Newsletter

Illinois College Access Network

Illinois College Access Network Newsletter

November 2023

Welcome to IllinoisCAN's monthly newsletter.

The mission of IllinoisCAN is to improve postsecondary access and success for low-income and first-generation college students in Illinois. IllinoisCAN builds the capacity and effectiveness of college access organizations to help students reach their goals. IllinoisCAN monthly newsletters are intended to be for us and by us – professionals around the state working to improve college access.

In this issue:
IllinoisCAN Meeting Highlights

IllinoisCAN held its quarterly meeting on November 1st which included presentations on the First Generation Scholars Network, FAFSA Simplification and the creation of an IllinoisCAN Steering Committee.

ISAC's First Generation Scholars Network (FGSN) is for students who will be the first in their family to earn a college degree. Through this network, students can connect with other first generation students, receive support and resources from ISAC, get advice about transitioning to college from a First Generation Scholars Network mentor, and much more. Learn more and encourage your first gen students to join the network at

ISAC's professional development team created a webpage for counselors to get quick information and tips about the new FAFSA. The page also includes links to ISAC's recent webinars on FAFSA Simplification, the switch to the Student Aid Index, changes for postsecondary institutions, and more! See the latest updates at

The launch of an IllinoisCAN Steering Committee was announced. The steering committee will begin with seven members to serve a 2-year term, starting January 2024 through December 2025. Next year, in late 2024, seven additional steering committee members will be selected, bringing the committee size to a total of 14 members serving staggered 2-year terms. The committee will meet virtually four times per year to provide guidance on the growth and programming for the network. To nominate yourself or another person, please use this form: The deadline for nominations is Thursday, November 30th.

Family Action Network November Events

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is excited to share a new partnership with the Family Action Network (FAN). FAN's mission is to "present fresh ideas that elevate minds, expand hearts, and make the world a better place." Each month, FAN hosts high-quality events that are free and open to the public which often include book giveaways and VIP pre- or post-event discussions with the featured speakers. ISAC is a proud sponsor of events related to our work.

Please view this month's events at this link:

PaCE, CCPE and CCRI Crosswalk

"This document lays out the key areas of alignment among the frameworks to help practitioners understand the connections as they implement the Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) framework, College and Career Pathway Endorsement (CCPE) framework, and College and Career Readiness Indicator (CCRI)."

Read the full document at

Harvard Launches Center for Digital Thriving to Support Teen Well-Being

"Harvard Graduate School of Education has announced the launch of the Center for Digital Thriving, a new research and innovation center based at Project Zero. The Center's work seeks to transform understandings of how young people – and everyone else – can thrive in a technology-filled world.

The Center for Digital Thriving aims to tell a more complete story of teen life in a hyperconnected world, acknowledging that technology is both helpful and harmful, connecting and dividing."

Read the announcement:

Trends in College Pricing

College Board's Trends in Pricing report "includes information about the prices that colleges charge for tuition, fees, and room and board; what students actually pay after subtracting grant aid and tax credits; how revenues and expenditures have changed over time at institutions; and where students are studying and how family income has changed over time."

Read the report at

Get Your Head in the Game for Study Abroad

"Faculty and students at DePaul University created Buddy Abroad – a multi-player board game to prepare students for scenarios they may encounter studying abroad and give them advice for how to overcome challenges."

Learn more at

Power of Hope Awards

"The Power of Hope Award recognizes multiple districts that engage counselors to track FAFSA completions and effectively organize and implement grades 6–12 college and career postsecondary enrollment strategies. NPSI is proud to partner with Michelle Obama's REACH HIGHER Initiative and Common App to recognize outstanding districts, with 50% free and reduced lunch populations, that are supporting school counselors and engaging them as postsecondary leaders. NPSI, Reach Higher, and Common App encourage all eligible districts to apply."

To learn more, nominate or apply, visit

Do you have events, news, requests, or resources to share with college access colleagues?

IllinoisCAN monthly newsletters are intended to be for us and by us – professionals around the state working to move college access forward. For inclusion in the next newsletter, send content by December 1st to

Find us on Facebook:
  • Like and Follow the Illinois College Access Network page
  • Join the IllinoisCAN Facebook group established for members to connect and collaborate
Share IllinoisCAN with colleagues as we expand to our statewide network.