In a move to simplify the already stressful process of applying to colleges, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) have added all of the state’s public universities onto the Common App platform.

In a press release, Gov. Pritzker and IBHE said the state used $1 million in funding to transition all 12 of Illinois’ public universities to the Common App platform. While many parts of the Common App are standardized across all schools that accept the Common App, Illinois schools are allowed to set their essay prompts and other application requirements.

Shifting to the Common App not only simplifies the application process for students by reducing application redundancy it also makes it easier for students to apply to more schools at once. Students can apply through the Common App, either using its online portal or mobile app.

“Expanding access to educational opportunities for everyone has always been a top goal of my administration. We want to make it easier for everyone, especially people of color, low-income students, and adult learners, to find a place at Illinois’ institutions of higher learning,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This $1 million investment will not only make it easier for Illinois students to apply to multiple of the state’s world-class universities but will also encourage students from out of state and across the globe to take the next step in their educational journey right here in Illinois.”

The University of Illinois Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and Chicago State University were already available on the Common App. The $1 million investment allowed the remaining public universities to join the program. The last outstanding university, Northeastern Illinois University, will be implemented later this year.

“Having all of the public universities on the Common App will make it easier for students to apply,” said Ginger Ostro, executive director, IBHE. “We see this as a tool for more students to explore the opportunities at all Illinois colleges and universities and remain in Illinois for their post-secondary education.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs