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Clout goes

Since 2005, about 800 undergraduate students have landed on the clout list for the Urbana-Champaign campus. It's unknown how many would qualify for entry on their own, but their acceptance rate is higher than average. For the 2008-09 school year, for example, about 77 percent were accepted, compared with 69 percent of all applicants.

That's in spite of the fact that patronage candidates, as a group, had lower average ACT scores and class ranks than all admitted students, records show.

In 2008, for example, freshmen on average ranked in the 88th percentile in their high school class, while clouted students ranked in the 76th percentile.