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Illinois Residency Requirements

The following is the definition of an Illinois resident as it pertains to ISAC-administered programs for which current-year funding has been appropriated (see listing at the bottom of this page*).

Dependent Students

For a dependent student to be considered an Illinois resident in order to receive a scholarship and/or grant:

  • the parent who is required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must physically reside in Illinois and Illinois must be his/her true, fixed, and permanent home at the time the initial FAFSA was completed and processed by the Central Processing System (CPS); or
  • if Illinois becomes the parent's true, fixed, and permanent home after the initial FAFSA is filed, the student's and the parent's state of legal residence and permanent mailing address must be corrected to indicate Illinois on the Student Aid Report (SAR)/Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). The corrections must be received by ISAC while data is still accepted and processed for the applicable academic year.

Independent Students

For an independent student to be considered a resident of Illinois s/he must have physically resided in Illinois for 12 continuous full months immediately prior to the start of the academic year for which assistance is requested and Illinois must be his/her true, fixed, and permanent home.

Example: An independent student attending an institution with an academic year starting on August 18, 2014, must have resided in Illinois from August 18, 2013 through August 17, 2014.

Armed Forces and Foreign Missionary Students

U.S. Armed Forces members and foreign missionaries qualify as Illinois residents if they:

  • physically resided in Illinois immediately prior to entering the U.S. Armed Forces (missionaries must reside in Illinois for six continuous months prior to entering missionary service);
  • return or plan to return to Illinois within six months of the conclusion of service; and
  • can demonstrate that their domicile was Illinois throughout such service.

A foreign missionary is an individual who is assigned duty outside the United States by an organization that engages in educational, philanthropic, humanitarian, or altruistic works. The missionary organization must have been engaged in placing foreign missionaries for at least five years and must be exempt from the payment of federal taxes. Some examples of such organizations include the Peace Corps and the Evangelical Alliance Mission.

Applicants who are dependents of U.S. Armed Forces members or foreign missionaries will be considered an Illinois resident if their parent(s) meets the Illinois residency requirements listed in this section.

Applicants who are the spouses of U.S. Armed Forces members or foreign missionaries must demonstrate that their absence from Illinois was the result of residing with a spouse during the period of service outside the state, and must also demonstrate that their domicile continues to be Illinois.

Applicants who cease to be Illinois residents after scholarship and/or grant award notification may complete the academic year with the awarded scholarships and/or grant.

Example: If a dependent student's parent(s) moves out of state after completing the FAFSA and have received notification of scholarship and/or grant eligibility, the student remains eligible for the scholarship and/or grant for the balance of that award year, assuming the student continues to meet all other eligibility requirements.

Examples of Documentation To Prove Illinois Residency

Data from one or more of the documents listed below may provide proof that an applicant (or parent) is an Illinois resident. For independent students, the dates recorded on the documents must indicate that the applicant has resided in Illinois for the relevant twelve continuous, full months.

  • Valid state or federal income tax return
  • Illinois high school or college transcript
  • Illinois driver's license
  • Utility or rent bills in the applicant's (or parent's) name
  • Illinois auto registration card
  • Residential lease in the applicant's (or parent's) name
  • Wage and tax statements (IRS Form W-2)
  • Statement of benefits from the Illinois Department of Public Aid
  • State of Illinois identification card, issued by the Secretary of State
  • Statement of benefits from the Illinois Department of Employment Security
  • Statement of benefits from the Social Security Administration
  • Illinois voter's registration card
  • Property tax bill

* The above is the definition of an Illinois resident as it applies to the following ISAC-administered gift assistance programs for which current-year funding has been appropriated. (Programs not listed below may have different residency requirements and, whenever that is the case, the requirements will be outlined within that program's area in the Types of Financial Aid section of this website.)