Illinois Alternative Application for Financial Aid (RISE Act) – GradPlan

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Illinois Alternative Application for Financial Aid (RISE Act)

Learn how to apply for state aid in Illinois if you're not eligible for FAFSA

The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid (Alternative Application) allows Illinois residents who are not eligible for the FAFSA to apply for state-based financial aid such as the Monetary Assistance Program Grant (MAP Grant). Some schools and private scholarship foundations also utilize the Alternative Application to determine eligibility for additional grants and scholarships.

What is the MAP Grant?

The MAP Grant is for Illinois residents and does not have to be repaid. The MAP Grant can be used at any two-year or four-year public or private college or university in Illinois.

Who is Eligible?

In order to be eligible for the Alternative Application you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Resident of Illinois
  • Attending or Intend to enroll in two-year or four-year college (public or private)
  • Not Eligible to receive Federal Financial Aid (i.e. undocumented students, transgender students)

Learn more about eligibility requirements »

When do I Apply?

The application is expected to open on or just before December 31st to receive funds for the school year that begins the following fall. (The recent FAFSA changes have led to fluctuation of the release date. We’ll keep this as up-to-date as possible.)
Apply as early as possible to receive the most amount of financial aid possible as state grants are limited.

What Application Materials Do I Need?

Financial Information

– W2s
– Bank Statements
– Investment Records (If eligible)
– Records of Untaxed Income (If eligible)

Computer or Laptop

The application is not mobile-friendly. If you don’t have a computer or laptop, ask your school counselor or financial aid office for support.

College Application List

You can list up to 10 schools on your application. Each school will review your application, determine your financial aid eligibility, and notify you through award letters.

Ready to apply?

To complete your application


Go to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) Alternative Application website on a laptop or computer. Upon beginning the application, you will be assigned a unique ISAC identification number. Keep this number for your record. 


Complete the pre-screening questions to determine your eligibility.


Carefully answer each question in the application. (Corrections cannot be made after submission.)


Submit your Application!

Recommended Resources


FAFSA Ineligible
Financial Aid

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Malcolm X, human rights activist