Associated Colleges of Illinois


Associated Colleges of Illinois supports member colleges and universities by advancing independent liberal arts and sciences education and helping underserved students succeed in college, career and life.

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Malik Johnson participates in the ACI Peer Mentoring Program at Rockford University’s Men of Color Mentorship Program. Johnson is a computer science major who also plays on the university’s football team. A first-generation college student, Johnson says the Rockford program has taught him about time management, plus he’s learned study and business skills he applies in school and on the job. Watch as he describes his experience at Rockford and in the mentorship program.

Click here to learn about other ACI student scholars.


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ACI Colleges and Universities Diverse, Offer Wide Range of Academic Programs

Students attending the 26 member colleges and universities of Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) are learning in diverse environments and are afforded opportunities to learn that emphasize small classes, real-world project learning and a variety of internships, according to ACI research. ACI members are also producing teachers and health-care workers in larger numbers than the state’s largest universities.

These findings come from a recent compilation of demographic statistics from ACI member schools (see image, left). Among the nearly 50,000 total undergraduate students:

+ about 58 percent are women
+ about one third are students who are American Indian, Alaskan or Native Hawaiian, Asian, Black/African American, Latinx or multiracial
+ more than one third are eligible for Pell Grants, awarded to students with the greatest financial need
+ more than 800 students are attending ACI colleges and universities with GI Bill benefits

“These findings confirm what we already knew: Students who attend private, liberal arts colleges in Illinois are learning important skills and life lessons that lead to productive careers in the state’s economy,” said Mick Weltman, ACI executive director. “Also, ACI-affiliated schools have diverse student bodies, which contribute to a rich and wide-ranging learning environment. This is vital in today’s global economy.”



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Associated Colleges of Illinois is a not-for-profit corporation exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law. ©2021 Associated Colleges of Illinois

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