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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Illinois receives $750K grant to streamline college admissions process

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Friday, March 8, 2024   

The Illinois Board of Higher Education is among the winners of a national competition to improve the college admissions process and increase people's access to higher education.

The board received a $750,000 award from Lumina Foundation to implement a direct-admissions program for community college transfer students and recent high school graduates.

Ginger Ostro, the board's executive director, said it will streamline procedures and promote inclusivity to ensure all students have equitable opportunities.

"It's really important to emphasize that this is a key strategy towards equity and addressing the needs of historically underserved students," she said, "and really recognizing the importance of higher education in social and economic mobility."

Ostro said the direct admissions program will proactively inform eligible students that they have been accepted at a particular institution - without the student having to submit an application.

The foundation's Great Admissions Redesign competition awarded grants to seven educational institutions across the country. After reviewing more than 70 applications and using criteria to ensure fair and just outcomes for underserved students, Lumina awarded more than $3 million in implementation and planning grants.

Ostro said the Illinois program's primary goal is to change the way college admissions are conducted.

"Direct admissions would allow us to use data that we already have at the state level to identify students who are already qualified for admission at our various public universities," she said.

Melanie Heath, strategy director at Lumina, called the program "innovative and unique," and said it should simplify the admissions process so more Illinoisans have an opportunity for higher education.

"If a system is incredibly complicated," she said, "then those that have the time and resources and support can navigate it, and those that don't are disproportionately burdened with that process."

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


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