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WIU Broadcasting Major Nicholas Gehricke and WIU President Jack Thomas presented at the Salute to Illinois Scholars College Fair Oct. 9.
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WIU at the Salute to Illinois Scholars College Fair Oct. 9 in Rockford
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WIU Partners with Salute to Illinois Scholars Program

October 10, 2018

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University recently took part in a new program designed to keep prospective students from Illinois in their home state to pursue their college education.

The new Salute to Illinois Scholars College Fair, spearheaded with the University of Illinois in cooperation with Western and other Illinois public universities, was held in Rockford (IL) Oct. 9. Nearly 200 prospective students attended.

"We are pleased to partner with other Illinois' institutions to raise awareness about the outstanding educational opportunities available to students here in their home state," WIU President Jack Thomas said. "We enjoyed meeting more prospective students and showcasing the leading-edge academic programs available at Western Illinois University."

Thomas joined presidents from Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois and Governor's State University, along with current students, including Nick Gehricke, a junior broadcasting major at WIU, in a panel discussion that touted the benefits of Illinois' public institutions.

"My college experience at WIU has been outstanding," Gehricke told the students in attendance. "This institution is going to help me land that big job out of college and put me on the path to success, while feeling right at home."

High school seniors were invited to attend the Oct. 9 event based on academic achievements, along with community college honors students.

"We want to connect the state's best-and-brightest students with our best-in-class universities, providing opportunities that will transform their lives and supply the next-generation workforce that will move Illinois forward," said Tim Killeen, president of the U of I System.

Students were encouraged to apply to each of the six participating universities, where their application fees were waived in honor of their high school achievements and attendance at the event.

Incoming freshmen to WIU with a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 and an ACT/SAT score of at least 20-24 (1030-1190) qualify for an automatic Western Commitment scholarship of $3,000 per year ($12,000 total). Higher scores? Then students qualify for even greater awards through the updated Western Commitment scholarship for incoming new freshmen, beginning Fall 2019. Western Commitment awards are renewable up to eight semesters and up to total direct costs. Current high school seniors this year must apply for admission to the University prior to May 15, 2019 for consideration.

Furthermore, on Oct. 8, WIU officially launched its new Western Promise Plus, which provides even greater financial incentives to qualified incoming freshmen for Fall 2019, as part of the state's new "AIM HIGH" initiative.

In addition to the Western Commitment and numerous other scholarship opportunities, Western's Cost Guarantee program locks in tuition, fees, campus housing and meal plan. All new undergraduate students - including transfer students - are automatically included in the plan, and will not see an increase in their direct cost rates over a four-year period.

For more information about admissions at WIU, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (309) 298-3157 or email

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Office of University Relations