The Associated Colleges of Illinois is a network of private, nonprofit, residential colleges and universities that works with business and community leaders to design and implement innovative and collaborative programs to:

  • help low-income, minority, and first-generation students prepare for and successfully graduate from college
  • help students develop the professional skills they need to successfully launch careers
  • support college and university leadership in their efforts to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of higher education.


Founded in 1952, the Associated Colleges of Illinois has evolved over six decades from collaborative fundraising to collaborative problem-solving that addresses some of the most challenging issues associated elementary, secondary, and higher education. The history of this evolution has been documented in The Associated Colleges of Illinois – A History: 1952-2012.


Member Colleges

ACI members form a robust network of 23 private, nonprofit, residential colleges and universities committed to mission-driven, liberal arts-based higher education in small, supportive environments that cultivate a sense of community and where faculty make teaching their first priority. Learn more about ACI colleges and universities and the rich opportunities they offer.



ACI accomplishes its mission through the generosity of foundations, corporations, government agencies, and individuals who support the collaborative efforts of private colleges and universities to make personalized, values-based higher education accessible to a diverse student population. All gifts to the Associated Colleges of Illinois as tax deductible as provided by law.


Business Partners

ACI Business Partners gain access to a network of colleges and universities serving 58,000 students and 10,000 faculty and staff, with combined purchasing power of more than $1.3 billion. Business Partners have a variety of formal and informal opportunities to present their goods and services to member colleges and universities, who are encouraged build relationships with businesses that support ACI.

Video Testimonial

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