A photo of a student signing up for a program

Friday, March 19, 2021

In an effort to make applying to college easier, Northeastern Illinois University and all 12 of the state’s public universities will become part of the Common Application (Common App) for college applications starting August 2021. This will make Illinois the second state in the nation to have all public universities use the Common Application. 

“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,” President Gloria J. Gibson said. “NEIU is thrilled to join all Illinois public universities in becoming part of the Common Application. It is my sincere hope this initiative further simplifies the college application process and is a significant step toward making higher education in Illinois more accessible to all."

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. 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 the state. 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.

“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,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “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.”

All of Illinois public universities are hopeful that, in simplifying the application process, more people will apply to college.

“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,” Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Ginger Ostro said. “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."