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Financing Your Education

Information About Financing your Education

Learning how to finance your education is an important step as a college student. Below you will find some resources related to Illinois state aid, scholarships, and the Center for Financial Literacy. 

Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act:

The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act, which went into effect January 2020, means that if you are an Illinois resident but ineligible for federal financial aid, (i.e. undocumented or transgender), you may still apply for state assistance. For complete details about the RISE Act, check out the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).

If you are an undocumented or transgender student, the act allows you to apply for institutional aid and MAP grants with the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, instead of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must meet the eligibility requirements below: 

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Who is Eligible?

Generally, Illinois residents who are undocumented and transgender students who have not registered for Selective Service are able to apply for aid through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. 

  • Transgender Students 
    • According to the RISE Act, if you are eligible to file the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid as a transgender student, you do not have to register for Selective Service in order to qualify for Illinois state aid. However, you will not be eligible for federal student aid if you are required to register for Selective Service but do not do so.
  • Undocumented Students
    • For eligible non-citizens to apply for a MAP grant through the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, you must meet the following criteria:
      • You resided with your parent or legal guardian while attending a public or private high school in Illinois.
      • You graduated from a private or public high school, or received the equivalent of a high school diploma, in Illinois.
      • You had attended school in Illinois for at least three years as of the date you graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma.
      • You will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at the earliest opportunity you are eligible to do so. By signing the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, you will be providing an affidavit stating this intention.
      • You have not established a residence outside of Illinois or hold a visa from another country.

Application Process

To accommodate Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act-eligible students (both undocumented and transgender students), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has created an Illinois-specific online application for MAP grants. Instead of completing the FAFSA to begin the map application process, these students may choose to complete the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid. The data from the application will be used to calculate an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is used in determining a student's MAP eligibility. Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid found here.   

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Scholarship Listings & Opportunities

To find national scholarship opportunities for undocumented students, visit The Hub (NC username and password required at login) 

  

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North Central College's Center for Financial Literacy

The Center for Financial Literacy is empowering individuals to make healthy financial decisions. Regardless of what your major is or what you plan to pursue after college, the Center for Financial Literacy is a resource to help understand your personal finances and break down barriers so you feel comfortable talking about money and can equip yourself for life in the real world.  

Professor Ryan Decker

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at North Central College

North Central College strives to grow in diversity, equity and inclusion through the work of our faculty and staff, the openness and honesty of our students, the support of our alumni, and the continuing commitment of the entire North Central community. Share our journey with us and discover how we are working to be the change and become a true college of destination. 

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