Freshman Application FAQs

Do you have questions about submitting your application to Illinois? Perfect! I’m here to address all of your concerns. Let’s start with the basics.

How do I apply?

There are two ways to apply to Illinois: myIllini and Coalition applications. myIllini is a tremendous resource for students to utilize because it allows you to connect with your specific admissions counselor, schedule a visit to campus, and submit your application. Check out Sammy’s blog about the myIllini account here.

You can also submit your application through Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, commonly referred to as Coalition. Coalition allows students to access online tools for free to simplify the application process to a handful of public and private universities.

When is the deadline?

The application opens on August 30, and it will close on December 1. BUT, there is an Early Action deadline of November 1. The Early Action period is non-binding; it simply gives you the best chance for admission, especially for our more competitive programs. Additionally, students who apply by the Early Action period also have priority consideration for merit-based scholarships and honors programs, so there’s no downside of applying Early Action.

What is a second choice major? Does it affect my first choice major?

When you apply to Illinois, you will apply directly into the major you want to study, but with that, you will be given the opportunity to list a second choice major. Listing a second choice major will only benefit your application for admission. We will ONLY look at your second choice major if you’re not admitted to your first choice major. If you’re not admitted to your second choice major, we will look at you for all avenues of admission, which could be a similar program to the two that you listed. However, if you only list one major on the application, we will only review you for that program of study.

What do you need to be considered for honors or merit-scholarships?

Nothing! With your complete application to Illinois, we will automatically review you for all honors programs and merit-based scholarships to which you are eligible.

How do you review an application?

This is one of the more common questions students ask because we use a very holistic process to review applications.  Simply put, we review your grades/course rigor, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and the essay. Our website does an excellent job at breaking down the review process, and it offers great information on what specific colleges are looking for in their applicants.

I hope this answers at least some of your questions. Feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any other questions!



Admissions Counselor
I am originally from New Jersey, but I grew up and graduated high school in the north suburbs of Chicago. I love being an admissions counselor because I get to meet and interact with remarkable students almost every day!


  • Hello Danny,

    I was wondering if I were to get a 3.8 or higher my senior year this year will there be a chance I might get accepted to this school? Because my last 3 years I’ve been an alright student but working on changing that.

    Thanks In Advace,

  • Every year my school allows for 60 students to be part of an Early College program. So that means we take 4 classes at the college each week and go to one class at the high school. When I apply would I have to apply as a transfer student? Also, how do I make sure that the credits I have worked on get transferred?

  • Hello Yairalis! Since we use a holistic review process, every student’s chances are different because it’s based on so many factors. I would encourage you to check out the link about our review process and email us at if you have more specific questions.

  • Of course Aries! Just like I mentioned in my last comment, admissions decisions are based on a lot of factors, and we take extenuating circumstances into account for students to provide as much context as possible when applying. On our website you can look at our freshman profile, which will give you an accurate range to strive for when taking the ACT/SAT.

  • This is a great question Michelle and one we get often. Since you are taking college courses as a high school student, you will still apply as a freshman (even if all your courses were at the college level). If you are worried about what courses will transfer, use the website to see the equivalencies between institutions.

  • For my senior year schedule I am considering having a free period to give me a chance to study and do homework. I am taking three AP classes this year and having a free period would be a great time for me to do my assignments. My question is, will having a free period hinder my chances of being admitted?

  • Hello Danny,

    I completed my freshmen year out-of-state. Would I need the official transcript from that school?

    Thank You,


  • Hi,
    My SAT score is 1330 and TOEFL 97. Appearing SAT subject test in Oct 17 and I am looking for Mechanical Engineering admission. What are my chances?

  • I was born in USA and have a USA passport, soc sec no. etc. Because of my Father’s job situation, I did all my schooling in Singapore. Will I be considered a domestic candidate or International candidate for admission and financial aid?

  • Well Tyler, we do like to see that students are challenging themselves within their high school setting. But if you already have a hefty course load of AP classes, having a free period wouldn’t hinder your application. Thanks for the question!

  • Hey Tanvi! We do not require you to send transcripts during the application process. However, after you’re admitted, we would ask for all of your transcripts from all of your high schools.

  • Hello Suhrud! As I mentioned in one of the previous comments, we use a holistic review process, so every student’s chances are different. I would encourage you to check out the link about our review process and email us at if you have more specific questions.

  • Hey Misha, you can use the link included in the blog to see our review process. From that page, you can see college-specific criteria as well!

  • Hello Mytili, that’s a really good question! You would most likely be considered a nonresident, meaning a domestic student living outside of the state of Illinois.

  • Hi Danny,
    I am appearing for my SAT subject tests(Math II, Physics, and Chemistry) on the November test date (international applicant) and my regular SAT in October. However, I wish to apply for the Early Action criteria. Is there any way that I can send my SAT scores to the admission committee after the 1 November deadline?

  • That’s a great question Ashwin. In order to qualify for Early Action, we do need your completed application, including standardized test scores, by November 1; however, we do not use SAT subject scores in our review process, so feel free to only send your October exam score to our office!

  • Thanks for your help Danny. Now the only doubt that remains is whether I will be eligible for the EA criteria if I send my scores directly to the admissions office. As I shall be receiving my October test scores after the November 1 deadline.

  • Hi Danny,
    I am in the middle of the application now. I speak two languages at home equally. The application only allows me to list one. What do I do? I have another question. My parents are both Illinois residents but we live overseas on military orders, will I be considered an Illinois resident?

  • Hi, Danny. If I were to apply Early Action by November 1st when will my admission decision be available? If I were to get accepted when would I have to actually enroll?

  • Are the requirements through the two application process (myIllini and Coalition applications) the same? Is there any advantage to apply through myIllini? Thanks!

  • Hello Augustyn! It sounds like you have a unique situation regarding your residency; I would encourage you to call or email our office with your question since it is a bit more complicated.

  • Ashwin, you can list our school code on the SAT to have your scores sent automatically to our office. It is possible your scores could arrive before the deadline.

  • That is a great question Nnenna! The Early Action notification date is December 15, and the Final notification date in February 2. In either situation, you have until May 1 to accept or deny your offer.

  • Hey James, there is no advantage to applying via myIllini or the Coalition application. The same information will be reviewed no matter what you apply through.

  • Hi Danny,
    If I’m still a senior in high school and I know that I wanted to take a couple of classes at a junior college before transferring, could I still apply now or do I need to wait until after I finish junior college to apply?

  • Hey Bianca! You should apply for the term you intend to start at Illinois, so if you want to start in a future term, you would wait to apply. Feel free to contact our office if you have more questions about the transfer application process!

  • I have a question regarding your average ACT and SAT scores. Your website states that for the Fall 2017 class, the middle 50% of students scored between 27-33 on the ACT and 1360-1480 on the SAT. However, those scores don’t seem to match up on a percentile basis. For example, on the low end, a 27 ACT is approximately the 85th percentile, while a 1360 SAT is approximately the 95th percentile (national sample) or 91st percentile (user sample). I have a slightly better SAT score than my ACT score but, based on the averages, it seems like I’m better off submitting my ACT score. Which score should I submit to improve my chances of getting in? Thanks.

  • I have a very stupid question, which may be very similar to Hill’s question. My SAT score is far better than my ACT score so I’m now considering to submit only my SAT score. Is it allowed to do so? Or am I required to send both ACT and SAT?

  • That is a great question Camden! The freshman profile you see on our website simply reflects the middle 50% of test scores from our admitted students; they are not requirements to be met. The reason the percentiles do not entirely match up is because the sample size of those who send SAT scores may not be representative of the national average. Since the SAT changed last year, the majority of test scores we received from students were from ACT. We review student within the context of their high school, so we can still accurately gauge where students are academically. However, we will only review the highest scores sent to our office, so feel free to send us any ACT or SAT scores you’ve received in the past!

  • Hello Runze! That’s not a stupid question at all! You are not required to send scores if you don’t want to; however, we only review the highest scores sent to our office anyway, so feel free to send us both.

  • Hi Danny,
    In addition to the two essays for the first and second major choice, is there any place for students to write additional information, such as the details of a specific extracurricular activity? Thanks!

  • Hey Jason, you can include additional information in the “Other Academic Information” section of the application if you feel we should be aware of it while reviewing your application. Details of extracurricular activities can also be discussed during the essay if it pertains to your interest in the major!

  • I am applying EA to University of Illinois. My ACT test on Sept. 9, 2017 was cancelled, therefore I will be taking the test on Oct. 28th, 2017. By when do I need to send the scores to the University. Thank you

  • Hi Danny,

    I noticed that there’s no option to apply for Early Action on the Coalition App(the indicated deadline is December 2nd). In this case, if I submit my app before November 1st, would it be considered Early Action? Thanks!

  • Nanny, in order to qualify for Early Action, we do need your completed application on file prior to the deadline. If you are having trouble meeting the deadline, feel free to contact our office for more information!

  • Hello Brian! You are correct. As long as you submit and complete your application before November first, your application will automatically be considered Early Action.

  • Hello Anubhav, this is a good question. It is unlikely you will qualify for Early Action if we have not received your completed application. However, if your application is already completed with old ACT/IELTS scores, it might be possible to qualify for Early Action; we will accept new standardized test scores until your decision is posted also!

  • Jon, we look at how you did on each score in relation to the total as well as what percentile you fall into for each score. For more information on this, look at how we review on our website!