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Gov. Pritzker Announces Illinois All Public Universities in State Now Available on Common Application for College Admissions

Press Release - Friday, March 19, 2021

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Board of Higher Education today announced beginning this fall, all 12 of the state's public universities will begin using the Common Application (Common App) for admissions, making it easier for interested students to apply to multiple universities at once. Three public universities in Illinois currently use the Common App and the remaining institutions will be available on the system by August 2021. 

"Making college possible for those students who assume it's not an option for them isn't just about affordability. It's also about making it easier to navigate a process that has too often left those from under-resourced communities tangled up in the fine print," said Governor JB Pritzker. "I'm proud to announce that when the Common Application opens this fall for the 2021-2022 application cycle, Illinois will be one of only two states in the nation to have all of its public universities join the one-stop-shop national application portal, making it that much easier for our students to apply to an in-state campus. I've prioritized funding for our schools to participate in the Common App in both of my last two budget proposals, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly to keep fostering every possible opportunity for our young people to live their dreams."

"We want to encourage Illinoisans to stay the course on their post-secondary dreams, and this step is instrumental in making the application process simpler and more affordable," said Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Ginger Ostro. "The use of the Common App will help students and it will help our public universities as we can showcase the terrific opportunities for high school graduates to attend college in Illinois."

Three Illinois public universities, Northern Illinois University, Chicago State University, and the University of Illinois Chicago, currently use the Common App as part of their admissions process. In total, 35 public and private institutions in Illinois use the application system. Illinois is one of the top five states in the nation for Common App submissions, with approximately 54,500 applicants, or 5 percent of the total, coming from Illinois. By giving students the ability to submit one application for multiple colleges and universities, the Pritzker administration is removing barriers and roadblocks that can prevent students from enrolling in higher education.

"Key to our mission at Common App is lowering the logistical and systemic barriers to college access," said Jenny Rickard, President and CEO of Common App. "We're grateful to Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Board of Higher Education on their work to expand college access. We look forward to Illinois' public institutions joining a community of practice that is creating new pathways for traditional and post-traditional student populations."

Due to the ease of applying to multiple universities simultaneously through the Common App, educational institutions expect to see an increase in applications beginning this fall. As potential students apply through the Common App, they will have the opportunity to choose from a list of colleges and universities registered with the system.

"Getting more students to look at Illinois' universities through the Common App will result in more of them applying and enrolling at our institutions. That's the opportunity we're going to take advantage of thanks to Gov. Pritzker's continued commitment to higher education. Making the application process easier for students both within Illinois and beyond our borders has the potential to be a real game changer in the admissions process. That's why the SIU System campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville are excited to join our sister institutions in this effort, which will showcase the great things we have to offer, while at the same time, permitting families to choose the university that provides the right fit for their students," said SIU System President Dan Mahony.

Northeastern Illinois University President Gloria J. Gibson said, "As a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution, Northeastern Illinois University is always excited to support initiatives that make it easier for all students to apply to college. NEIU is thrilled to join all Illinois public universities in becoming part of the Common App. It is my sincere hope that this initiative further simplifies the college application process and is a significant step toward making higher education in Illinois more accessible to all."

"We are so pleased to join the Common Application platform to provide even greater access to higher education opportunities in Illinois for Illinois residents and students across the nation" said WIU President Guiyou Huang. "Providing an accessible pathway to education is crucial for prospective students, and we're proud to partner with this worldwide organization. We express our appreciation to Gov. Pritzker and to the Illinois Board of Higher Education for continuing to put Illinois students' needs first."

"The adoption of the Common App by all of the state's public universities will be a tremendous service to students and parents in Illinois, significantly reducing the work of applying to multiple schools," University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen said. "I'm proud that all of these universities are helping provide greater access to the life-changing benefits offered by public higher education."

"Allowing students to apply with the Common App will make our institution even more accessible to students in Illinois, the Midwest, and nationally on a platform that is well recognized and provides access and convenience for prospective students," said Illinois State University Director of Admissions Jeff Mavros.

"At Eastern Illinois University, we are looking forward to the opportunity to serve a larger and more diverse prospective student pool through the Common Application. Implementing the Common App aligns with our university's mission to continue making the superior undergraduate education EIU has to offer more accessible than ever," said Eastern Illinois University Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Josh Norman.

"Governors State University is looking forward to the implementation of the Common App in August for Fall 2022 freshman.  This initiative will allow Illinois high school students greater access to higher education with the ability to apply to multiple Illinois public universities," said Governors State University Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Paul McGuinness. "We are especially excited for the opportunity the common application and AIM HIGH grant will provide students in the Southland who want to Learn Local and stay close to home, advancing Governors State's mission to provide an accessible and exceptional education."

"I am a huge proponent of the Common App. As former chair of the House Higher Ed Committee, my ongoing goal is to remove barriers to education. Standardizing the application process levels the playing field for students across Illinois by expanding access to universities. Thank you to Governor Pritzker for his steadfast support on this issue," said House Majority Conference Chair Carol Ammons (D-Champaign).

"The use of the Common App will help us keep Illinois students at our universities. Being able to apply to each school in the state with a single application will open opportunities and encourage students to consider more in-state institutions. The Higher Education Working Group has been advocating for this change and the members are delighted to see this come to fruition," said Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville).

Students interested in learning more about the Common Application can go to Illinois colleges and universities currently available on the App can be found below:

• American Academy of Art College
• Augustana College
• Benedictine University
• Bradley University
• Chicago State University
• Columbia College Chicago
• Concordia University Chicago
• DePaul University
• Dominican University
• Eureka College
• Flashpoint Chicago
• Illinois College
• Illinois Institute of Technology
• Illinois Wesleyan University
• Knox College
• Lake Forest College
• Lewis University
• Loyola University Chicago
• McKendree University
• Methodist College of Unity Point Health
• Millikin University
• Monmouth College
• North Central College
• North Park University
• Northern Illinois University
• Northwestern University
• Principia College
• Quincy University
• Saint Xavier University
• School of the Art Institute of Chicago
• Trinity Christian College
• University of Chicago
• University of Illinois at Chicago
• University of St. Francis
• Wheaton College

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