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Higher Ed in the News

Blago-style admissions exposed at U. of Illinois

June 1, 2009

A series of articles in the Chicago Tribune have exposed the extent to which less qualified but politically connected applicants have been admitted to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - sometimes over the objections of admissions officials.

According to a report the Chicago Tribune published May 26, the University of Illinois maintains an exclusive list of well-connected applicants who, apart from their backing by powerful players in the university community and Illinois politics, might otherwise prove lacking in qualifying credentials.

The Tribune reviewed 1,800 pages of documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, and discovered e-mails between admissions officials and university leadership who candidly discuss the admission of students who, though under-qualified, were being “tracked” by university trustees, state lawmakers, or other people the university seemed eager to please.

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