Skip Navigation

Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid
(Formally known as the RISE Act Application)

Information and FAQs

The RISE Act is a new law that will enable some students who were previously ineligible for state of Illinois financial aid (ie, MAP grants) to receive aid. This includes:

  • Undocumented students who are residents of the state of Illinois.
  • Undergraduate students who may be in good academic standing but have lost their Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding because they have not reached junior standing after using 75 MAP funded credit hours.

When will the RISE Act take effect?

To accommodate RISE Act-eligible students, ISAC has created an Illinois-specific online application for MAP (Monetary Awards Program). Data from the application is used to calculate an expected family contribution (EFC) and determine students’ MAP eligibility. The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, patterned after the FAFSA, can be found at https://studentportal.isac.org/en/alternativeapp.

What is the process for the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid?

  • The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is accessible online through the ISAC (Illinois Student Assistance Commission) website at https://studentportal.isac.org/en/alternativeapp.
  • Pre-screening questions at the beginning of the application will help students determine which application (Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid vs. FAFSA) should be completed.
  • If an applicant’s answers to the pre-screening questions show the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid should not be completed, a message will advise them to consult their high school counselor, a financial aid professional, or an ISACorps member for assistance in completing the FAFSA.
  • An EFC will be calculated and provided to the college via the MAP component of the Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal as a Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid Student Record.
  • MAP award amounts will be calculated for eligible students and provided to colleges via GAP Access.
  • As with all MAP awards, eligibility notification will be provided to the student by the college, not ISAC.

Is there a cost to complete the application?

Similar to the FAFSA, accessing financial aid via the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is through a completely free application.

What documents would I need to complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid?

For 2021-2022 Aid Year:

  • Your 2019 tax forms
  • Your parents’ 2019 tax forms (if applicable)
  • Your driver’s license or state ID
  • Social security card (if applicable)
  • Information about assets such as: savings, certificates of deposit, stock shares, bonds, investments in real estate, businesses, or farms

Will I have to re-apply again every academic year?

Yes, just like the FAFSA you do apply every academic year.

Where can I find assistance to fill out the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid?

If I am undocumented, should I also apply for the FAFSA?

No, the FAFSA is a federal form to request financial aid. Undocumented students, including DACA recipients, should NOT submit a FAFSA form. Filling out the FAFSA can have legal consequences. Consult with your counselors and advisors for support.

Will completing the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid affect my immigration/legal status in the future?

No, completing the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid will not affect your immigration/legal status in any way, unless you falsely claim to be a U.S. citizen.

What other sources of aid are available beside the FAFSA or Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid?

  • In addition to offering federal and state financial aid programs, CLC also awards scholarships, via the CLC Foundation. The CLC Scholarship application is available year-round. These scholarships are based on academic achievement, financial need and field of study. Many scholarships are open to all students, regardless of citizenship status. View the scholarship opportunities.
  • You can also visit Information for Undocumented Students to learn more about additional resources and about advocates for our undocumented students.
  • There are also external scholarship opportunities available. View external scholarship opportunities.

DISCLAIMER: The information and materials presented on this site are general and informational only and do not constitute legal advice. Immigration questions should be directed to a licensed immigration attorney. Campus and legal information provided on this site is subject to change at any time. Updates will be provided when possible, but faculty, staff and students should continue to update and educate themselves concerning the topics covered within.



Adobe logo. Get Adobe Acrobat Reader.Get a free copy of Adobe Reader.