August 2023 IllinoisCAN Newsletter

Illinois College Access Network

Illinois College Access Network Newsletter

August 2023

The mission of IllinoisCAN is to improve postsecondary access and success for low-income and first-generation college students in Illinois. IllinoisCAN builds the capacity and effectiveness of college access organizations to help students reach their goals. IllinoisCAN monthly newsletters are intended to be for us and by us – professionals around the state working to move college access forward.

In this issue:
Connect Students with Their Local Illinois Student Assistance Corps (ISACorps)

ISACorps members are recent college graduates expertly trained to help students with selecting and applying to college, scholarship searches, understanding and accessing financial aid, financial aid application completion, and more. Students and families can meet with their local ISACorps member for free one-on-one assistance or at free college fairs and financial aid workshops in their community. ISACorps members are available statewide. To find local ISACorps staff, enter your ZIP code at this link.

2023 CCE Conference Presentations Now Available Online

ISAC appreciates all the equity designers who were able to attend in support of the conference theme – DEIA: The Work We Need to Do. Even if you couldn't attend, we hope the conference session presentations will inform and inspire you to address Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) issues Illinois students face and to consider how we can collaborate to increase educational equity for our students. ISAC has gathered most of the presentations and other session materials and has posted them on the conference website. As other presentations are received, ISAC will post them to the website, so check back if don't see a particular presentation posted.

Updated High School 2 Career Dashboard

"Illinois state agencies have released and incorporated new data into the Illinois High School 2 Career dashboard tool to ensure Illinois students have the information they need to make informed decisions about their postsecondary and career options. The tool enables students, parents, and guidance counselors to review a wide range of information on Illinois public high school seniors and their actual pathways after they graduate, including postsecondary education choices by degree type and academic area of study, as well as their career and salary outcomes. The interactive online dashboard is available in both English and Spanish. Tutorial videos are also available in both English📹 and Spanish📹 to assist users as they navigate the dashboard."

See the announcement on the Illinois State Board of Education's website:

How the Farm Bill Could Affect Higher Education

"The sprawling package of legislation will be updated this fall. Advocates want Congress to simplify SNAP in the new farm bill. Millions for agriculture research and facilities are also up for grabs.

As Congress gears up to update the sprawling and expensive farm bill, land-grant institutions want lawmakers to boost research funding and make other investments while advocates representing students are hoping to make food assistance easier to access for students."

Read the Inside Higher Ed article:

Nine Ways Funders Can Increase Diversity in Higher Ed in a World Without Affirmative Action

"In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's June 29 decision to end affirmative action in college admissions, a group of foundations quickly issued a joint statement condemning the decision. "The Supreme Court's decision impedes colleges and universities from selecting their own student bodies and fully addressing systemic racial inequalities that persist," the statement read. "The ruling threatens to return this nation to a time when education and opportunity are reserved for a privileged class." The statement now has more than 140 signatories, including the Kresge, Lumina, Ford, Barr, Mellon, and MacArthur Foundations, as well as Borealis Philanthropy, Democracy Fund, Omidyar Network, and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies."

This article originally appeared in Inside Philanthropy and is now posted on the Lumina Foundation website. The author reached out to three representatives of the signatories to ask "how philanthropy can avoid complacency and remain vigilant in its efforts to boost diversity in higher ed in a post-affirmative-action world."

Read the full article:

New Loan Program for Illinois Students Attending Illinois Nonprofit Colleges & Universities

Forefront shared in its August 3rd newsletter, "Illinois State Treasurer Frerichs has announced a new partnership with nonprofit, ISL Education Lending, to increase access to affordable private loans for students attending nonprofit universities. This new financing authority for the partnership will allow for additional low-cost loans for Illinois students."

Read the Forefront newsletter:

Legacy admissions are being rolled back: Here's which colleges have changed policies

"The University of Virginia is the latest school in the U.S. to change its legacy admissions policies since a civil rights group's federal complaint challenging the process was filed days after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action, ending a decades long practice used by universities to diversify student bodies.

Multiple colleges and universities across the country have updated admissions policies, with some choosing to end preferences given to applicants who are considered legacy students."

Read the full article:

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IllinoisCAN monthly newsletters are intended to be for us and by us – professionals around the state working to move college access forward. For inclusion in the next newsletter, send content by September 5th to

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