04132021CM03811SPRINGFIELD – Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) supported legislation that would guarantee Illinois community college students with a B-average or better admission to the University of Illinois.

“This legislation will allow us to give community college students some stability and predictability, and more importantly, to keep Illinois’ best and brightest in the state for their university career,” Bennett said.

Under the legislation, the U of I would create a four-year uniform admission system pilot program, guaranteeing qualified students admission to one of the U of I system universities. In order to qualify, a student must have:

  • Graduated from an Illinois high school.
  • Earned at least 36 transferable credits at an Illinois community college.
  • Maintained a 3.0 or better grade point average for all transferable coursework.
  • Satisfied the university system’s English language proficiency requirement.

The universities would have to prioritize current state residents and could not turn any qualified applicant aside unless the university’s enrollment capacity is 100% full with state residents.

“The goal of this legislation is to provide additional educational opportunities for Illinois’ next generation of leaders,” Bennett said. “It gives students a great reason to stay close to home and offers the U of I the ability to bring hardworking students to their campus.”

The U of I system encompasses three universities, including the primary campus in Urbana-Champaign, as well as institutions in Chicago and Springfield.

House Bill 796 passed the Senate Thursday with a vote of 57-0.

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