North Central

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.

Lewis university


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.

Milikin University great classroom image


ACI supports member institutions with professional development conferences and webinars that address key issues and challenges specific to smaller, private colleges and universities. Conferences address college and university advancement, student engagement, financial matters, public relations and marketing and executive leadership topics.

Ways to give


Investing in Associated Colleges of Illinois’ Scholarship and Emergency Financial Aid Funds 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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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. ©2020 Associated Colleges of Illinois

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