In-state schools guarantee admission

Paige Gieseke, Fielder Friday Editor

  Graduating high school seniors can look to guaranteed admission to select public universities if they rank in the top ten percent of their class due to the new Public University Uniform Admission Act.
According to News Channel 20, students must meet all admission requirements, and only four universities are currently participating in this opportunity: Western, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Illinois Universities.
The Public University Admission Act is applicable to those who not only achieve top ten percent, but also complete required ACT OR SAT assessments and fill out their regular application. Every university has different specific requirements for admission, and those must be filled out as well.
Dave Stephens, principal, says that the intention of the new act may not only be helping students have a more affordable college, but also so students will be closer to their state of residence.
“I think they’re trying to [get it] so more kids will stay in Illinois. [Schools want students] from other countries and other states [too],” Stephens said.
In recent years, there have been many out of state colleges that offer large scholarships to students in order to attract them because of affordability. However, there are local scholarships also offered to students so that they will do the opposite: stay in the state of Illinois. Although most scholarships can be used in any state, the rising cost of Illinois colleges might be a barrier to staying in-state without a scholarship.
The Plainfield Township is offering a scholarship to current high school seniors who have at least a 4.0 GPA on a 5.0 scale. This opportunity was created by Matt Starr, Plainfield Township Trustee. He was elected to the board in 2009 and began to think of ways that he could offer help to younger residents, especially those transitioning from high school to college.
“The inspiration really came from being in college myself at the time and knowing just how expensive it can get. If there was a way to offer students more loans as an option, I felt it was more important to explore that,” Starr said.
Starr feels proud that he was able to create this offer to help make a difference in the community, and it is rewarding knowing that students earn this opportunity so it can help them in their future.
“Many of them write to us during college and after they graduate to let us know what they are up to, how they are making a difference. It pays dividends,” Starr said.
Betsey Vinson, CAPE President for District 202, helps send out information to students and families looking for scholarship offers he shares the link to the application on Facebook, Twitter, all the CAPE representatives, and the student services for each high school to ensure that anyone can have access.
“We have a committee of CAPE board members and CAPE reps. They go through all of the applications with the criteria and choose one student per high school,” Vinson said.
Vinson is urging juniors and seniors to begin their search for scholarships as soon as possible, because scholarship money can be unclaimed if not everyone takes advantage of opportunities that schools offer for future students.
“The last thing you want when you start your career after college is huge student loans,” Vinson said.
Tom Hernandez, Director of Community Relations for District 202, is happy to share any scholarship opportunities for students in the Plainfield schools.
“[We] strongly encourage them to pursue as many [scholarships] as possible… every dollar helps,” Hernandez said.