Associated Colleges of Illinois seeks to address critical challenges that private higher education can help solve through collaborations among its member colleges and universities, businesses, nonprofit partners, and public and private funders. Today, ACI programs address two priorities established by the U.S. Department of Education: 1) Improving the outcomes of higher education by raising graduation rates among low-income, minority, and first-generation students; and 2) Reducing college debt by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of higher education and by providing financial aid that makes private higher education affordable to an increasingly diverse student population.

ACI Micro-Internships by Parker Dewey

Students from ACI-member colleges and universities can apply for micro-internships — short-term, paid, professional assignments — similar to those completed by new hires or interns. These micro-internships are facilitated via the Parker Dewey platform, making it easy for companies, schools and students to benefit from the program. 

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Peer Mentoring

ACI’s Peer Mentoring Program matches minority, low-income, and first-generation freshmen enrolled at ACI member institutions with trained and supervised Peer Mentors from similar high school backgrounds. By helping at-risk students navigate the critical first year of college, ACI’s Peer Mentors promote college persistence and degree completion among the students they serve.

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Scholarships and Emergency Financial Aid

Investing in Associated Colleges of Illinois’ Scholarships and Emergency Financial Aid is an important strategy in advancing ACI’s mission to improve college graduation rates. ACI institutions already post higher than average graduate rates among low-income minority, and first-generation students, and generous financial aid plays a significant role in this achievement.

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