Undergraduate Admissions

Linkages Program


Western Illinois University has a variety of options to help you attain your academic goals. Students who are admitted to the Linkages Program concurrently enroll at Western Illinois University (Macomb or Quad Cities campus) and a participating community college with the goal of a seamless transition into a WIU major. The Linkages Program is designed for college-ready students who will take one 100-level or 200-level course at Western Illinois University while attending the community college. The Linkages Program is also a way for students to significantly reduce their cost of attendance still locking in WIU’s 4-year cost guarantee as well as being a part of the university community.

Current participating community colleges:

How to Qualify

Students must meet published admissions standards at both Western Illinois University and the participating community college. Students must apply and be accepted to both institutions. Financial Aid will be distributed by the community college to the student, so students should send their FAFSA to the participating community college for each academic year of concurrent enrollment.

Cost Comparison:

The Linkages Program is a way for students to significantly reduce their cost of attendance while still being a part of the university community.

Students who are concurrently enrolled at Spoon River College and Western Illinois University will be eligible to reside in University Housing at Western Illinois University and receive in-district rates at Spoon River College. Linkages students will still be required to pay the $50 application fee in accordance with their housing contract.

Annual Cost of Attendance Comparison 2017-2018
Charges Linkages FULL TIME AT WIU
WIU Tuition: $1,138 WIU Tuition: $8,541
WIU Fees: $350 WIU Fees: $2,704
Room: $5,800 Room: $5,880
Board: $3,700 Board: $3,700
SRC Tuition: $3,510*    
SRC Fees: $650*    
TOTAL $14,898 TOTAL $20,825
Potential Savings = $5,927
* Due to SRC First Day of Class = $1,890 [Aid Dispersed around 10/1]

The Linkage Program is designed to promote seamless transition into the WIU major, provided the students meet all major and University requirements. Select baccalaureate degree programs are available depending on campus location and the student’s grade point average. Students should see their academic advisor for specific details.

Sample Fall Class Schedule:

  • UNIV 100 (1 sh) at Western Illinois University
  • ANTH 102 (3 sh) at Spoon River College [ANTH 110 equivalent at WIU]
  • MAT 061 (4 sh) at Spoon River College [Math 099 equivalent at WIU]
  • ENG 091 (3 sh) at Spoon River College [ENG 100 equivalent at WIU]
  • ART 120 (3 sh) at Spoon River College [ARTH 180 equivalent at WIU]

Next Steps

  1. Apply to Western Illinois University and select Linkages program
    • Screen shot of application with Linkages selected
  2. Submit your transcripts and ACT to both WIU and the participating community college.
    1. Participating community college application links
  3. Financial Aid will come from the school where you are taking the majority (greater than 50%) of your classes. So for most students financial aid will come from the community college and can be used to pay for expenses at WIU. Submit your FAFSA to appropriate community college, by signing on to the FAFSA and clicking "Make FAFSA correction", and then add the school code below:
    • Black Hawk College [Federal School Code: 001638]
    • Carl Sandburg College [Federal School Code: 007265]
    • Eastern Iowa Community College
      • Clinton Community College [Federal School Code: 001853]
      • Muscatine Community College [Federal School Code: 001882]
      • Scott Community College [Federal School Code: 004074]
    • Elgin Community College [Federal School Code: 001675]
    • Highland Community College [Federal School Code: 001681]
    • Richland Community College [Federal School Code: 010879]
    • Sauk Valley Community College [Federal School Code: 001752]
    • Spoon River College [Federal School Code: 001643]
  4. For Spoon River College students, submit a housing application

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does “concurrent enrollment” really mean?
A: It means that you would take classes at two institutions (both WIU and a community college) at the same time.
Q: How do I get to my Spoon River Classes if I am living in a residence hall at WIU?
A: Bus options, own transportation, walking distance
Q: If I am in Linkages can I still access campus amenities?
A: Yes, as a Linkages student you would have access to the same amenities as full time students, including the recreation center, health center, Division I athletics, dining halls, performing arts shows, and many other campus activities.
Q: Who is my academic advisor and how do I register for classes at two different places?
A: You will be assigned a WIU academic advisor to help you select university classes and you can utilize the advising center, which is available at your participating community college.
Q: Can I take more than one class each semester with WIU in this program?
A: Yes, you are welcome to take more WIU classes, but it is recommended that you limit your hours at WIU until your junior year in order to keep your cost of attendance down.
Q: I am not close to a WIU campus location so how can I participate in this program?
A: While we encourage you to take face-to-face classes early on in your collegiate career, online classes are still an option for you to participate in the Linkages program at a participating community college.
Q: How long do I participate in the Linkages program?
A: The program is designed to give students two years at the reduced rate at the participating community college. Students my use their WIU courses to “reverse transfer” course to the community college and complete the Associates Degree. Students are eligible for additional financial aid in the junior year that will assist with cost of attendance at the university beginning in the junior year.
Q. What if I don't get admitted to WIU or I just want to go to Spoon River College.
A. Students can still live in University Housing and attend Spoon River College full-time. Follow this link for more information: wiu.edu/srchousing