Listen to this article

High school students sidelined by the Chicago teachers’ strike are getting extra time to request fee waivers for their applications to the University of Illinois.

Students in Chicago Public Schools who are eligible for fee waivers can still apply before the UI’s Nov. 1 early-action deadline, and their counselors can submit the fee waiver upon their return to work.

The district is the largest source of UI applicants, with 5,000 in 2019, or 12 percent of the total received, said UI Admissions Director Andrew Borst.

With the early-action deadline approaching, and the length of the strike uncertain, the admissions office wanted let students know in advance that they’d have extra time to file a waiver, Borst said.

“We’re just trying to alleviate some of the concerns that students from CPS may be feeling,” he said.

Other universities have pushed back deadlines for submitting transcripts or letters of recommendation. But the UI doesn’t consider letters of recommendation, and students aren’t required to submit official high school transcripts until they accept their officer of admission to the UI, Borst said.

If students feel like they need help from counselors or teachers to completer the application itself, they can wait and apply for regular admission by Jan. 5, he said.

Students with questions can call 217-333-0302.


Julie Wurth is a reporter covering the University of Illinois at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@jawurth).