New International Illini: Next Steps for Fall 2017

First things first, and this never gets old …


I am hoping that your reaction to finding out you were admitted went something like this:


We get that.

Once the excitement of being admitted wears off, you probably have some questions. When do I have to decide, do I get a letter, what about my visa, when can I come? All great questions.

I am going to get you started with some popular questions and answers here, but remember to keep asking more questions in the coming months. Many of you have some tough choices to make; getting the answers to your questions will just make it easier to make the right choice.

What does my decision mean?

Some of you may be excited you were admitted, but not totally sure what your decision means.  Zoe has a new blog specifically explaining what each of our decisions are. I highly recommend checking it out. She will go into more detail on what decisions you may have received. You can also always feel free to call our office to discuss your decision.

Where do I get my acceptance letter?

Actually, we don’t mail Notice of Admission (NOA) letters internationally. We do make sure every student has access to their official NOA, though. Your official Notice of Admission will soon be available through your Admitted Student Checklist in your myIllini Account (at the bottom of the page under Additional Information). It does take us a few weeks after we release decisions online to get them all scanned and attached to your file, so be aware that it won’t be ready right away.


Unlike Harry, you can get your letter online when Uncle Vernon isn’t looking. winking-emoji-elite-daily

How long do I have to accept my offer?

All students (early action and regular decision) have until May 1 to accept their offer of admission. There is actually no real advantage to accepting your offer prior to this date. Even housing is on a lottery system—as long as you submit your University Housing application by May 15, you have an equal chance at getting an early housing selection time slot. This is so you have plenty of time to check out all of your offers, ask questions, and make the best decision for you and your family.

When can I apply for my student visa?

In order to apply for your F-1 student visa, you need to get an I-20 from the university. The I-20 application is only available to students after they accept their offer for admission, and we do not start sending I-20s out until early March, but you can apply as soon as you accept your offer. The Obtaining a Student Visa page gives more details on this process.


When do I need to be on campus?

This question will depend. Some of you may be planners who are booking flights months in advance; others like to wait until closer to when it needs to be done. Either way, everyone should mark Sunday, August 20, on their calendar, the date new international students need to be on campus for International Orientation. I will be blogging more about this program as it gets closer, but it is a great time to get to campus early, learn a lot, and make lots of new friends.

What about everything else!?!?!

Actually, that myIllini account you used to apply? That is the key to making sure you have everything you need done to become an Illini for Fall 2017. The Admitted Student Checklist will make sure you know what is coming up and what has to be done before you get to campus. Don’t forget to keep checking it throughout the next few months.

Remember, keep asking questions and watch out for more blogs on these topics and many others in the coming months.

And now, back to feeling awesome!



Please note that comments close after 90 days.

Derek Rowan

December 15, 2016, 8:33 pm

This info is really helpful, thanks



December 16, 2016, 1:24 pm

Hi Derek,

I am glad this was helpful for you! It is always good to get feedback from students.



December 18, 2016, 8:41 pm

Awesome information and thanks.



December 19, 2016, 10:43 am

Hello Xiaoyan,

I am glad you found it useful. We do our best to be as helpful as possible! 🙂


Jinyi Yue

December 19, 2016, 7:06 pm

It’s useful.Thanks a lot!


Jeffrey Kaikati

December 20, 2016, 8:26 am

Hey! Thank you so much for all of this! It’s really helpful! But I have a question: when will we get scholarships’ results? And do we need to accept our offer of admission before the results?



December 20, 2016, 8:28 am

Thanks, Jinyi Yue! I am glad you liked it!



December 20, 2016, 8:34 am

Hi Jeffrey,

The vast majority of scholarship offers would have been made with the offer of admission. For international students, the only scholarships would typically be for talent based programs (think programs like Music, Vocal Performance or Painting). Even those are rare.

If you have more questions this is a good question to send to our Admissions Office at

Thanks for reading!



February 5, 2017, 2:52 am

Thanks for all of this!! Am really excited and can’t wait for my journey to start



February 5, 2017, 9:37 am

You’re welcome, Abhi! Please let us know how we can help 🙂



February 7, 2017, 7:24 am

Thanks a lot Ms. Longtin!



February 7, 2017, 11:17 am

Congrats on becoming an Illini Tushar!



February 8, 2017, 12:54 pm

This article provides many useful information! Thanks a lot!



February 8, 2017, 8:03 pm

Thank you, Xinyan! Welcome to the Illini Family!