College admissions bill advances in Illinois House

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois House committee has cleared a proposal that would require public universities to admit first-time freshman applicants who finish with a GPA in the top 10 percent of their high school's graduating class.

The House Higher Education Committee passed the bill Wednesday, Feb. 15. despite opposition from the University of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the News-Gazette reports.

Democratic Rep. Andre Thapedi of Chicago sponsored the bill, saying the University of Illinois lacks diversity. The Urbana campus has 5.4 percent black enrollment, with higher percentages at the Chicago and Springfield campuses.

University of Illinois director of state relations Jennifer Creasey says the university doesn't believe admission criteria should be in the law. She says there are a lot of disparities on class ranking throughout the state.