CARLINVILLE — Blackburn College has expanded its commitment to increasing access and removing barriers in higher education with two key changes to the admissions process. Beginning this fall, students applying to Blackburn will have the ability to do so without standardized test scores being required. Prospective first-time and transfer students will also be able to apply using Common App, a powerful online college application platform allowing students to apply to multiple member schools with a single form.

Any high school graduate who applies to Blackburn with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or above will be automatically accepted for admission without the need for submitting SAT or ACT scores. Students who fall below the 2.75 GPA threshold will be reviewed holistically and can submit additional information including recommendations, test scores, and other academic items for consideration. Each student who applies to Blackburn is assigned an Admissions Counselor who will guide them through the application process.

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"Blackburn has long been invested in identifying and eliminating barriers to accessing higher education,” said Dr. Steven Lambert, vice president for inclusive enrollment. “A student’s classroom performance over their high school career is a better indicator of future academic success than the results of a single test. Our application is free for everyone and there is no fee waiver required. These steps will remove unnecessary obstacles and ensure students and families of all socioeconomic backgrounds can take advantage of the transformational education Blackburn provides."

Blackburn is also improving the application process for students by joining with Common App. By becoming a member school, the process for prospective students to apply to Blackburn and other institutions in the Common App network will be easier, less time-consuming, and more affordable. Additional tools and services will also be available to Blackburn applicants including financial aid and scholarship information, virtual mentors, online portfolios, and a vast library of counselor resources available in English and Spanish.

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"Partnering with Common App will help simplify the application experience for everyone," said Lambert. "More than one million applicants use Common App each year and about one-third are the first in their family to pursue higher education. As one of the most affordable private colleges in Illinois, it’s essential that we create as many opportunities as possible for students to learn about the value, attainability, and affordability of a Blackburn College degree."

First-year and transfer students will be able to take advantage of the Common App when applying to Blackburn beginning this fall. Prospective students can apply to Blackburn for free by creating a Common App account or using Blackburn’s own application at

About Blackburn College

Founded in 1837, Blackburn College is a four-year, Presbyterian-related, co-educational liberal arts college located in Carlinville, IL. One of only ten federally-recognized Work Colleges, Blackburn has the only program in the nation fully managed by students. Balancing academic rigor and experiential learning, each student at Blackburn gains tangible experience and develops critical skills by contributing to their community, all while building a resume and earning their degree. U.S. News & World Report recognized Blackburn College as one of the top Liberal Arts Colleges in the Nation for Social Mobility in their Best Colleges lists for 2020, 2021, and 2022. The Center for Education & the Workforce at Georgetown University ranked Blackburn as a top performer for Earnings-Price Return - 209% (#1 in IL, #10 in the U.S.) and Net Price (#1 in IL; #11 in the U.S.). The Washington Monthly twice ranked Blackburn as the best baccalaureate college in Illinois.

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