Illinois Student Assistance Commission releases B4College smartphone
sends personalized information directly to students' mobile devices
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-- This week the Illinois Student Assistance Commission
launched the first free smartphone app specifically designed to help
Illinois students plan, prepare and pay for college. The B4College
app sends personalized notices directly to students who download and
install the app on their mobile device.
"Just as technology is invaluable in the classroom, students are
turning more and more to mobile devices for their social and
information-gathering activities," said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC
executive director. "B4College provides individual students with
highly personalized content on topics they self-select as part of
their college preparation process."
Developed in-house by ISAC's College Access and Outreach, IT and
Research, Planning and Policy Analysis teams, B4College
automatically delivers relevant, timely and personalized alerts to
college-bound students. Currently the application sends two types of
user-selectable alerts: FAFSA completion reminders and alerts about
local ISACorps and other agency outreach events.
Zarnikow noted that several factors made development of a
smartphone app possible. "B4College leverages ISAC's unique
data-handling capability and custom data sets to generate notices to
individual students based on their location and FAFSA filing status.
"B4College allows ISAC to share some of its institutional
knowledge accumulated over 50 years of helping to make college
accessible and affordable for Illinois students," Zarnikow added.
"We want to put that experience to work in a way that makes sense
for today's students and today's technology."
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Zarnikow added that the B4College app will continue to be
enhanced, expanding the number of services available to today's
always connected students.
Currently available for Android smartphones at Google Play, an
iPhone version will launch in early summer. A Facebook account is
required to use the app. Additional information, including an
introductory video and link to Google Play, is available on ISAC's
Established in 1957, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission
has as its mission to help make college accessible and affordable
for Illinois students through administration of need-based grant and
scholarship programs, outreach efforts across the state, and by
offering College Illinois!, the state's 529 prepaid tuition plan.
The commission has provided more than $10.4 billion in grants,
scholarships and non-loan aid to over 4.8 million Illinois students
Illinois Student Assistance
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]