Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act

The RISE (Retaining Illinois Students and Equity) Act allows certain eligible State of Illinois residents who are not eligible to complete a FAFSA an avenue to apply for state and institutional financial aid . The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid is available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Students eligible through the RISE Act are generally undocumented students who are Illinois residents. The types of state financial aid available are the IL Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant, the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program, the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program.

Students applying through the Alternative application will not be considered for Federal Student Aid, including student loans, Pell grant, Federal Work Study, and other program. Complete details and more information may be found on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission website.

Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid

Undocumented students may be eligible to apply for ISAC’s programs if they meet all of these criteria, which are based on Illinois statute regarding in-state tuition eligibility:

  • the individual resided with his or her parent or guardian while attending an Illinois public or private high school;
  • the individual graduated from a public or private high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in Illinois;
  • the individual attended school in Illinois for at least 3 years as of the date the individual graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma;
  • the individual provides an affidavit stating that the individual will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so; and
  • the individual has not established a residence outside of Illinois.

If you are unable to submit your application, please contact the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) for more information.

Other Resources

Undocumented students may find many other private resources available to assist with college expenses, other than state or federal student aid. Examples include:

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Dream Fund

Illinois Dream Fund

Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling Advising Guide for Undocumented Students