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The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act was signed into law on June 21, 2019. The RISE Act allows eligible undocumented students and transgender students who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid. The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid provides a pathway for these qualified students to apply for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, the state's largest need-based grant program for low-income college students.

The RISE Act does not exempt applicants from meeting existing program eligibility criteria.

The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid for the 2023-2024 award year became available on October 1, 2022. The 2022-2023 application is also available to complete online.

While the Alternative Application includes pre-screening questions to determine if a student is eligible for the alternative pathway, students are encouraged to consult the financial aid office to determine if they should complete the FAFSA or the Alternative Application.

More information regarding RISE Act eligibility may be found on the ISAC website.