University News

WIU Partners with Governor's Office, IBHE on Common App Initiative

March 22, 2021

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – In the 1970s, a few U.S. universities joined forces to create one application for their students. Today, that organization, Common App, has more than 900 members across the world who use the common application process for their schools, and now Western Illinois University is joining the worldwide initiative. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, along with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), announced March 19 that all Illinois public higher education institutions will join the Common Application initiative.

"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," Pritzker said Friday. "I'm proud to announce that when the Common Application opens this fall, Illinois will be one of only two states in the nation to hall all of its public universities join the one-stop-shop application portal, making it that much easier for our students to apply to an in-state campus."

Beginning Aug. 1, prospective college students can use the Common App to complete a common set of questions, and then select the universities of their choice to apply.

"We are so pleased to join the Common Application platform to provide even greater access to higher education opportunities for Illinois residents, as well as those beyond our state's borders," said WIU President Guiyou Huang. "Providing an accessible pathway to education is crucial for prospective students, and we're proud to partner with this worldwide organization. We express our appreciation to Gov. Pritzker and to the Illinois Board of Higher Education for continuing to put Illinois students' needs first."

According to, each year, more than one million students, a third of whom are first generation, apply to college, research financial aid and scholarships and connect to college counseling resources through Common App. To help all students reach their goals, Common App is dedicated to lowering the barriers to college access, supporting those who support students, serving a diverse group of students and institutions and leveraging data and insight to inform member institutions.

"The Common Application will provide us additional ways to reach more students than ever before, which helps our University meet its recruitment and enrollment goals," added WIU's Director of Undergraduate Admissions Doug Freed.

Illinois is one of the top five states in the nation for Common App submissions, with approximately 54,500 applicants coming from Illinois.

"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," said IBHE Executive Director Ginger Ostro. "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."

Since 1902, WIU provided outstanding educational opportunities to individuals in west central Illinois and well beyond the region and state. WIU's traditional residential campus in Macomb, Illinois, is the educational, cultural, and athletic center of the region, while Western's non-residential branch campus in Moline, Illinois, is the only public university in the immediate Quad Cities region.

For more information about WIU, visit Automatic scholarship and other scholarship information is available at

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