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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request

What is FOIA?

FOIA is the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140), records in possession of public agencies may be accessed by the public upon written request. Pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/2(c), "public records" means all records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, recorded information and all other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared, or having been or being used, received, possessed or under the control of any public body. Records that are not subject to release via the FOIA process include confidential and trade secret information.

How to File a Freedom of Information Act Request

The following are instructions on how to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) for records.

1. Make your request for records in writing. The IBHE does not require the completion of a standard form for this purpose. You may send your request by mail, fax, or email.

2. Be as specific as possible when describing the records you are seeking. Remember, the Freedom of Information Act is designed to allow you to inspect or receive copies of records. It is not designed to require a public body to answer questions

3. Let us know if this request has a commercial purpose.

4. Tell us whether you would like copies of the requested records or whether you wish to examine the records in person. You have the right to either option. All records are in Springfield.

Copying Fees: There is no fee for up to 50 pages of standard paper copies. For pages beyond 50, there is a 15-cent-per-page charge. The fee to duplicate records in other formats such as disks and tapes is the cost of the reproduction. Certification fee is $1.00 per record. You are permitted to ask for a waiver of these fees. To do so, please include the following statement (or a similar statement) in your written FOIA request: “I request a waiver of all fees associated with this request.” In addition, you must include a specific explanation as to why your request for information is in the public interest—not simply your personal interest—and merits a fee waiver.  

Submit your written request by mail, fax or email to the IBHE Information Officer:

Freedom of Information Officer
Illinois Board of Higher Education
1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333
Springfield, IL 62701-1377
Fax: (217) 782-8548