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A number of universities in Illinois didn't require standardized test scores when students applied for the upcoming fall semester, given the disruption COVID-19 had on high schools. One state lawmaker is looking to extend this policy indefinitely for all public universities throughout the state.

Beginning this fall, all 12 of Illinois' public universities will begin using the Common App, a single online application used by hundreds of colleges and universities across the country.

Illinois State University and other public higher education institutions want the Illinois Department of Public Health to require students be vaccinated for COVID-19 if they attend classes in the fall.

Bill to Ban Tenure 'A Live Round' In Iowa House, Advances in Both Chambers

Feb 12, 2021

The speaker of the Iowa House called a bill to ban tenure for professors at Iowa's public universities "a live round" as it advanced in the House and Senate this week.

Public university presidents recently wrote Gov. JB Pritzker, asking him to make higher education a priority area for COVID-19 vaccinations. But with only a limited number of doses available, Pritzker said he made the decision to place higher ed staff and students in the 1C class--or at least behind K-12 students.

Rich Egger

The presidents of Illinois' public universities believe the state should make it a higher priority to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for higher education's faculty, staff, and students.

Courtesy Chapin Rose

An education reform bill would force schools to test children even before they enter kindergarten. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus spearheaded the measure, which passed through both houses of the General Assembly this week.

Peter Medlin

A new report reflects on the long-term cost of cutting education funding during past recessions and how Illinois can learn from those mistakes during the COVID recession.

Bradley University is ordering all students to quarantine and learn remotely for the next two weeks.

Rich Egger

Spoon River College will receive state funding to help complete the next phase of the East Jackson Street campus in Macomb.

Illinois State University on Tuesday pointed to the unexpected loss of on-campus testing capacity and rising cases as major reasons why classes will be primarily online this fall.

Unionized faculty and staff at Illinois’ universities and colleges want their institutions to start almost entirely online this fall.

A screenshot from a webinar hosted by the Lincoln Forum in partnership with the Union League Club of Chicago and POLITICO on July 8, 2020.

University leaders from across the Midwest say they're concerned about a drop in international student enrollment this fall, given new restrictions imposed on foreign students by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

A new model is cautiously optimistic about a university’s ability to control the spread of COVID-19 this fall—but that hinges largely on how much students socialize off-campus.

Courtesy of Dominican University

Even before the pandemic began, Lisbeth Hernandez says she was exhausted. Hernandez is heading into her senior year at Dominican University, a small Catholic college in Chicago’s western suburbs. 

Governor Releases Fall Plans for Schools And Colleges

Jun 24, 2020

Governor J.B. Pritzker wants to see kids in the classroom this fall.  He released guidance Tuesday for students returning to school and college.

UPDATED 2 p.m. | Two freshmen have filed a lawsuit claiming Illinois State University did not refund enough of their mandatory student fees after abruptly shifting to online-only classes because of COVID-19.

Colleges and universities in Illinois want their campuses to be open to students in the fall, after classes were forced online in March due to COVID-19.    A state panel is going to recommend the best approach for the fall semester.

'Hey Grandma, Mind If I Record Our Conversation?'

Apr 30, 2020
Jenna Dooley

In Illinois, the pandemic means remote learning for college students. At retirement communities, it’s been weeks of strict social distancing. One Illinois woman is living in both worlds. Joyce DeFauw lives at the Liberty Village assisted living facility in Geneseo, Illinois near the Quad Cities. At 87, she’s also the oldest online student at Northern Illinois University. WNIJ News Director Jenna Dooley has a close connection with DeFauw and shared portions of their recent conversation.

A 174 year old educational institution in the area will soon close its doors permanently. 

The board of MacMurray College in Jacksonville voted unanimously Friday to shut down at the end of the spring semester in May.

Rich Egger

Dr. Teresa Amott has enjoyed a lengthy run as president of Knox College. She came to Galesburg to lead the private liberal arts college in 2011. Amott has announced she will step down in June of next year, and said the lengthy retirement notice should prove beneficial in a couple ways.

A high score on the SAT or ACT is no longer required for admission to more than a dozen four-year colleges and universities in Illinois. As of last week, that includes Northern Illinois University, which will now accept a high school GPA of 3.0 for admission.

 

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Western Illinois University, and many private colleges had already adopted similar policies. They’re all part of a growing movement.

More Illinois students now qualify for college financial aid. State government will now offer money to students who might have been disqualified from getting federal help.


Rich Egger

Knox College President Teresa Amott said the current enrollment at the private liberal arts school in Galesburg is 1,229 students. Dr. Amott said "it would be terrific" if enrollment increased to 1,400-1,600 students. She said that would allow the school to hire more faculty members and offer more academic choices to students.

State university officials were grilled by lawmakers Tuesday. At issue is a record of lucrative severance packages for outgoing administrators.


An administrator resigned amid sexual harassment accusations. Another college hired him. A professor was found to have stalked a coworker. She agreed to retire, then won a Fulbright grant. Campus leaders vow reforms, but many say it’s a long road.

This article was produced in partnership with the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.

Rich Egger

State lawmakers from Illinois expressed outrage during a legislative hearing Thursday over the issue of affluent families from Chicago suburbs transferring guardianship of their children to another adult in order to qualify them for need-based financial aid they otherwise would not receive. 

DATA VISUALIZATION BY COLE FREEMAN

A few years ago, when he was going to Yorkville High School, Matt Pitstick saw college recruiters roaming his school who surprised him and made his friends laugh. They were recruiters from a university more than 700 miles away: the University of Alabama. 

Low-income college students in Illinois got some good news today. The state's Monetary Award Program — which provides MAP grants to help pay for tuition — will be able to give more grants with more money, thanks to the largest appropriation in the fund’s history.

Lynne Baker, with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, says the agency approved a new formula that will boost grants by an average of $220 and cover at least 6,700 more students.

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