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March 19, 2021

SIU Carbondale welcomes opportunities of joining Common App

by Kim Rendfeld

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Joining the Common Application for first-year students fits well with SIU Carbondale’s recent initiatives to provide access to higher education and the distinctive opportunities Salukis have, said Chancellor Austin A. Lane.

“We fully support any initiative that will make applying to college easier for students, especially first-generation students, and for Illinois residents to get a first-class education close to home,” Lane said.

“We are grateful to Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Board of Higher Education for their leadership to have all 12 Illinois public universities to join this nonprofit organization of more than 900 institutions.”

Prospective students can use the Common App to apply to multiple institutions. Each year, more than 1 million students – a third of whom are first generation – apply to college, research financial aid and scholarships, and connect to college counseling resources through the Common App.

At SIU Carbondale, the Common App will be launched in August for first-time students entering in fall 2022. If students would like to apply earlier, SIU will post its application in June.

“Universities have a responsibility to improve access to higher education,” Lane said. “The Common App is one step. We have also taken several measures to lift barriers between students and their education.”

SIU’s initiatives include no longer requiring SAT and ACT test scores for admission and most scholarships. New students from Illinois who meet the criteria may qualify for the Saluki Commitment and the Saluki Transfer Commitment. If a student’s financial aid package does not completely cover tuition and mandatory fees, the university pledges to close the gap.

John Frost, director of admissions, said the university’s partnership with the Common App is part of a strategy to attract and intentionally engage future students. After prospective students apply, professionals follow up with them to ensure their submissions are complete and answer any questions. Students can also visit campus virtually or in person as part of a small group.

“We inform students of SIU’s hands-on learning and our close community,” he said. “They have opportunities often reserved for graduate students. When future students see the campus for themselves it helps them make the decision to become Salukis.”

Lane said growing enrollment is universitywide effort. Targeted advertising for specific academic programs showcase SIU’s offerings. Faculty have gotten involved by calling admitted students and sending handwritten postcards. While it is premature to make projections for fall 2021, the number of applications and admitted students is promising.  

“I am really excited that all have made enrollment a top priority across campus,” he said. “I thank our faculty, staff, university leadership team and alumni for their hard work.”