Sen. Scot Bennett

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois community college students with a B-average or better will automatically qualify to transfer to the University of Illinois thanks to an initiative cosponsored by Senate Higher Education Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

“This new law gives students a great reason to stay close to home and offers the U of I the ability to bring hardworking students to campus,” Bennett said. “This allows us to keep Illinois’ best and brightest in the state for their university career, and makes for a smooth transition for community college students.”

Under the law, the U of I will 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 will prioritize current state residents and cannot turn any qualified applicant aside unless the university’s enrollment capacity is 100% full with state residents.

“I’m pleased to see this legislation signed into law, as it provides additional educational opportunities for Illinois’ next generation of leaders,” Bennett said.

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

The law, originally House Bill 796, takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.