What does your admission decision actually mean?

For those who applied for early action, our first round of admission decisions will be coming out next week!

If you’re looking for more information regarding what your admission decision means for you, you’re definitely in the right place. There are a couple different decisions you could receive, and we’re going to go through all of them and explain what each of them means.

I’ve also linked decisions with any FAQs associated with it. The FAQs have lots of really great information, and I would encourage you to read through them in addition to this blog.


Congrats, you’ve been admitted to Illinois! If you’d like to accept or decline your offer of admission, you can do so via your myIllini account. If you choose to accept, you will also be able to access your Admitted Student Checklist through your myIllini account. (If you want more information on this, see my other blog!).

If you were admitted to a program that was not your first choice, know that we fully considered you for your first-choice major. Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for all qualified applicants, but we still thought you were a good fit for our university, which is why we admitted you into another program instead (sometimes your second-choice major). At this point you’re considered wait listed for your first-choice major. If space becomes available later on, we’ll let you know (even if you’ve declined your alternate offer)!

If you’re interested in transferring to another program after enrolling at Illinois, I’d recommend working with your academic advisor to learn more about the requirements needed to enter that program. More information will be located within your Notice of Admission letter.

Deferred (December notification only)

Since you applied to one of our more competitive majors before our early action deadline, we want to determine how you best fit into this year’s entire freshman applicant pool. In order to do that, we need to wait until we’ve received all applications. This means you’ll receive your final decision on our second notification date of February 3. At that time, you may be admitted, denied, or wait listed.

Please note that while you’re waiting for your final decision, we will not be accepting any additional documents such as mid-year reports, letters of recommendation, etc.

Wait Listed (February notification only)

Within an application cycle, we review many more qualified and capable applicants than we have available positions within the entering class. However, we’re still very interested in some of these students, and we offer them the opportunity to join our wait list. Once we know how many students have accepted our initial offer of admission, we’ll use the wait list to fill the remaining spots in the class.

Please note that our wait list is not ranked. Again, we will not be accepting any additional documents such as mid-year reports, letters of recommendation, etc.


Unfortunately, we were unable to offer you admission to Illinois at this time. However, we do encourage you to explore Illinois as an option for transfer admission after completing 30 transferable credit hours at a different institution. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please see our Transfer Handbook.

Hopefully this answered your questions regarding your admission decision. If not, feel free to contact our office directly (note that because of the personal nature of admissions decisions, we can’t discuss them via email)!



Please note that comments close after 90 days.


December 19, 2016, 9:28 pm

If you are accepted Early Action to your 2nd choice, and you accept the offer, can you still be admitted for your 1st choice if room becomes available?



December 20, 2016, 8:31 am

Hi Dylan,
Yes, if you are admitted to your second-choice major you are considered wait listed for your first-choice major. If space becomes available later on, we’ll let you know (even if you’ve declined your alternate offer).



December 20, 2016, 11:20 am

If an applicant was deferred for the 1st choice, was the 2nd choice even considered by admissions? Would admissions have indicated “denied” or “deferred” on the first choice and “accepted” or “deferred” on the second choice? It would be helpful to be clearer in the status listed on the MyIllini site for each major choice. The reason is that if an applicant is deferred on the first choice, but accepted on the second choice, the applicant will be less likely to feel the need to apply elsewhere. Thanks for clarifying.



December 20, 2016, 12:00 pm

Hi Lee,
If you had been admitted to either your first-choice or second-choice major, your status would have been “Admitted” instead of “Deferred.” If you received the decision of “Deferred,” that means that you are currently being considered for all avenues of admission, including your first-choice major. Your decision will be posted on February 3, 2017 via your myIllini account.



December 20, 2016, 6:10 pm

Hi Zoe,

Thanks for clarifying. Is it still possible for those who were deferred to be given, assuming they get admitted in February, UIUC scholarship offers or be admitted to an honors program?



December 21, 2016, 2:14 pm

Hi Lee,
It is possible for students who have been deferred to receive merit-based scholarships or honors if they are admitted in February. However, it is not likely.



January 5, 2017, 2:23 am

Hi Zoe,
I got a deferral decision and I didn’t put a second choice major. Would it be alright if I added one to my application? Would admissions look at that and take it into consideration if my first choice is too competitive? Thanks for your help!



January 11, 2017, 8:37 am

Hi Dhanan,
So sorry for my delayed response! Yes, you’re welcome to add a second choice major if you did not originally list one on your application. You would do this by filing the course change form via your myIllini account (be sure just to edit your second-choice major and do not touch your first-choice major). Let us know if you have any further questions!


Rushank Jhanjaria

February 3, 2017, 6:39 pm

Hi Zoe,
I had my decision an hour ago and it said that I was being waitlisted. Can you please share the university’s records of accepting the waitlisted students since this will allow me to make a decision and end my uncertainty. In addition, even if I am offered admission through the waitlist how will I be able to apply for a visa since the gap between attending college and applying for vise will be narrow and bit risky too.
Rushank Jhanjaria



February 3, 2017, 8:22 pm

I am currently waitlisted by my first choice: Computer Engineering and yet I do not know whether I was accepted to my second choice: Undecided, DGS. I have asked the application status of my classmates and realized the uniqueness of my situation. Here are several common cases that I have encountered. First, there are people who are either waitlisted or rejected by a second choice DGS and are, by logic, obviously not competitive enough to be directly accepted by competitive colleges. Then, there are people who are rejected by the competitive major and admitted into DGS. Finally, there are people who are admitted to competitive colleges, whether it is their first choice, second choice, or both. I am not admitted by competitive colleges, but I do not know whether I am accepted, waitlisted, or rejected by DGS either. In this way, I do not fit in any of the situation above. It is not clear whether I am competitive for EITHER engineering OR DGS. Therefore, I am confused by your notification and I crave for explanations.



February 4, 2017, 7:23 am

Hi Rushank,

Great questions! It varies every year how many students we will accept onto the waitlist. But if we were able to admit you from the waitlist, we would ensure there would be enough time to process any documentation, student visas, etc. As it states on your checklist, it is important to note your interest in staying on the waitlist. Please feel free to call our office at 217-333-0302 if you have any questions!



February 4, 2017, 7:28 am

Hi Tony,

Thanks for reaching out. We reviewed all of our applicants for first, second, and all other avenues of admission. Because of the complexity of your questions, I would recommend calling our office on Monday to speak to an admissions counselor your application review. Give us a call at 2217-333-0302.



February 4, 2017, 9:36 pm

I was recently admitted for my second choice DGS. My first choice was Chem. Is it difficult to transfer into LAS, providing I meet the requirements?



February 5, 2017, 9:32 am

Hi Joe,

Congratulations on being admitted to DGS! DGS advisors have great information regarding the process for declaring a major in any college at Illinois. Timelines and pre-requisite courses vary for each major, so we encourage students to be open about all of their interest areas when they meet with their advisor during Summer Registration.



February 9, 2017, 6:38 am

When are you notified that you qualify for
merit based scholarships?
If it was not part of your admission letter, does that mean you will not be getting any merit based scholarships?



February 9, 2017, 9:06 am

Hi Kathy,
The majority of our merit-based scholarship decisions did go out with our notices of admission. At this point it’s unlikely that students who weren’t notified that they received a scholarship will receive one this year.

However, there are opportunities after enrolling at Illinois for students to apply for merit-based scholarships from the college that they are enrolled in.