Illinois Becomes Second State to Use a Common Application Process Across Public Universities

Springfield CapitolChicago, IL – Today, Governor Pritzker announced that all 12 of Illinois’ public universities will use the same application for admissions decision, a critical move to improve access for students to a postsecondary education. With this change, Illinois becomes the second state in the country to have one application that applies to all the public in-state universities. Nine universities join Chicago State University, Northern Illinois University, and University of Illinois Chicago in using the common application. In total, 35 public and private institutions in Illinois use the application system.

“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.”

“Given Chicago State University’s commitment to improving Black and Latinx student access and success in higher education, the institution adopted the common application in order to remove an unnecessary barrier in starting the college journey,” said Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Illinois’ public universities are signaling to students across the state and country, we are here to support you as you select the best institution for you and your goals.”

This move aligns with the work of Chicago State University’s Equity Working Group for Black Student Access and Success in Illinois’ Higher Education System. The Working Group is a statewide initiative that convened leaders from high school and postsecondary education institutions, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, the private sector, philanthropy, faith institutions, and other community-based organizations. This spring, the Equity Working Group is releasing a multi-year cross-industry “Action Plan” that offers recommendations on how to address systemic racism in higher education policies and institutions through collective efforts and advances recommendations on how to improve higher education and professional outcomes for Black students.