January 22, 2020

Illinois RISE Act may provide most students access to financial aid

The Retention of Illinois Student & Equality (RISE) Act was signed into law on June 21, 2019 and allows access to state financial aid (i.e. MAP) to students who were previously ineligible. These students include:

  • Undocumented students who are Illinois residents.
  • Transgender students who do not complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) due to the requirement to report their gender “at birth.”

The RISE Act also removed the 75-hour maximum MAP grant eligibility for students in good academic standing who had not reached junior standing. These students may be eligible to receive MAP Grant for the Spring 2020 semester. 

Effective January 6, 2020, students who are unable to complete the FAFSA can complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid (formally known as the RISE Act Application) to determine MAP Grant eligibility for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

The application consists of pre-screening questions to confirm if an individual should complete the FAFSA or Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid.

  • Individuals the application indicates should complete the FAFSA will be advised to consult their high school counselor, a financial aid professional, or an ISACorps member for assistance completing the FAFSA.
  • Individuals who should complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid will have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated which will be used by their college.
  • MAP awards will be calculated for eligible students and sent to the college.
  • Colleges will notify students of their MAP Grant eligibility.

Please note, similar to the FAFSA, individuals must complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid each academic year to apply for MAP Grant. 

For additional information, including a link to the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, please visit https://www.isac.org/students/before-college/financial-aid-planning/retention-of-illinois-rise-act/ or contact the Kishwaukee College Financial Aid Office at finaid@kish.edu or 815-825-9328.