mother and daughter decked out in Illinois gear on campus move-in day on a bright sunny day

A UIUC Parent’s Guide: 10 Things to Do Before Your Child Applies

Is your child considering the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in their college search? If so, this post was written especially for you! Read on for 10 ways you can learn more about our university and help prepare your child for our admissions process.

1. Get all the facts.

Statistics and rankings aren’t everything, but they do help to showcase what we’re all about. Looking at our campus profile will reveal insight into who we are and what we value in comparison to what your child is looking to get out of the college experience.

For example, will your child feel more comfortable at a large school or small school? Do they want a big-city experience, or would they be more interested in a smaller college town? How close to home do they want to be (and how close to home are you hoping they’ll be)? Now’s the time to discover how UIUC fits with all of these preferences and more.

2. Visit campus (or check us out virtually!).

Visiting UIUC is one of the best ways to learn whether our school could be a good fit for you child. While on campus, you can take a campus tour, hear from current students, and even meet with any academic communities your child is interested in. Take a second to explore our in-person visit options, and once you’ve signed up, learn how you can make the most out of your visit to UIUC.

If you can’t make the trip to campus, don’t stress. We also offer a variety of virtual visits! These include admissions options and meetings with academic programs, virtual tours, glimpses into the student experience, and more.

3. Estimate your child’s cost of attendance.

Paying for college gets confusing very quickly, so we offer multiple tools to give you a better idea of what UIUC costs and how much your child will pay to attend.

First comes UIUC’s sticker price. You can view estimated expenses for the current school year on our website. However, the amount your child will pay to attend UIUC will likely be different than what’s listed on this page, since it depends on their chosen major, housing, meal plan, and overall lifestyle, as well as potential scholarships and financial aid. To help account for those extra factors, be sure to view UIUC’s sticker price broken down by major through our cost calculator and estimate the amount of financial aid your child may receive using our net price calculator.

If you still have questions after reviewing these tools and additional blogs on the topic, contact our Office of Student Financial Aid. They’re always willing to walk you through the finer points!

graduates celebrate graduation admist a flurry of orange and blue confetti on a beautiful day at Memorial Stadium

4. Understand UIUC as an investment.

UIUC doesn’t just provide the complete college experience—it prepares your child for what comes next. In addition to possessing a strong alumni network, we play host to big-name recruiters from Fortune 100 companies like Amazon, Google, Chase, IBM, AbbVie, Microsoft, ADM, and PepsiCo (just to name a few).

But don’t take our word for it! Discover for yourself the success our students achieve after graduation, including where they’re employed, the average salaries they’re making, and what graduate schools they’re attending. You can even break things down by academic community or, in many cases, major.

5. Get familiar with our academics.

A top university with a legacy of innovation, UIUC provides a challenging, progressive environment to help students realize their goals. With over 150 majors and 7,000 courses to choose from, students can pursue almost any career here. What’s more, they have extraordinary professors to help guide them along the way.

Dig into everything we offer through our program explorer. We include descriptions for each major and share what their graduates do with a degree, including career options, salary data, and sample employers and grad schools. If your child has no idea what they want to do yet (which is perfectly OK!), they can also take a quiz to see which of our majors match their personality type.

aerial view of the heart of UIUC's campustown

6. Explore our campus life and culture.

UIUC’s expansive and encouraging community allows every student a place to thrive. We strive to foster an environment defined by diversity, inclusion, and equity, with support services and resources for any potential need. Your child will have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to housing, and the ways they can get involved on campus are endless.

In addition, we go to great lengths to keep our students safe. For extra peace of mind, you can sign up for our alerts to stay updated on any urgent situations that may arise in the area.

girl exploring options with her mom at home

7. Prepare for the application process.

Help your child get a head start on UIUC’s application process by reviewing our requirements. This includes the types of courses they’ll need to take in high school, what we expect as far as class rigor, and standardized testing information. We also offer suggestions about extracurricular activities and encourage them to take part in experiences related to their potential major.

If your child is ready to apply now, we have a blog for that, too!

Test-Optional Policy for Fall 2024 Applicants

UIUC will continue its test-optional policy this year. This means that if your high school student is applying for fall 2024 admission, we won’t require them to submit SAT or ACT results. A TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test score may be required.

8. Know what we look for in applicants.

Our application review is a holistic one, which means we consider many factors when making an admissions decision. During the review process, we want to get to know your child and learn why they belong at UIUC.

We’ll start by confirming that your child has taken all the required coursework. We’ll also look at their achievements in and out of the classroom, evaluate their application essay and major-specific responses, review any test scores, and more. You can learn everything that goes into making an admissions decision on our website.

grid of images and stills from Illinois social media channels which highlight university facts and fun moments of campus life

9. Follow us on social media.

Stay in the know on everything UIUC by connecting with us on our social channels. You can find us on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok! Whether you’re looking for admissions reminders and updates, campus-wide content, or stunning views of our school, we’re here to share it with you.

10. Ask us your questions!

We’ve thrown a whole lot at you in a short amount of time, and you’re bound to have questions we haven’t answered. If so, please ask! You can reach out via email, phone, or even text.

We’re always here to help, and we look forward to working with you and your child throughout the rest of their college search process. Best of luck, you’ve got this, and I-L-L!

UIUC Admissions

UIUC Admissions

We're here for you as you prepare for college. Whether you're looking for guidance on the college search process or have questions about Illinois, we hope our blogs will help!


  • First, I am grateful for your mail.

    My son went to high school in the United States for a year and a half and is currently attending high school in Korea.My son is going up to the 12th grade next year. I think you know that the starting point of school is different from that of the United States in Korea.

    I’ve been eager to send my son to your school for a long time.

    I will prepare for the 12th grade and my son will apply to your school.

    I’m perfectly ready to send my son to your school. Of course, I’m checking that I’m constantly telling my son to prepare well to go to your school.

    My son will apply to your school in December 2022. What I’d like to ask is that even if you find one or two shortcomings, please make sure to enroll your son in your school.

    If there is anything else I need to prepare in the future, I would be very grateful if you could let me know.

  • We’re excited that your son is interested in the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign! At UIUC, we practice holistic admission and will consider all parts of the application in review. We have experts that review applications from all over the world, and we do not weigh one education system greater than another. We also do not convert grades and will review them within the lens of that high school.

    It sounds like you’re prepared for the application process, but in case it helps, we also encourage you and your son to check out our blog specifically for international students interested in UIUC: Thank you for reaching out!

  • Yes , we are waiting for response from your school. My son applied in November aan we visited your school December.

  • We are visiting 11/11/92.
    Can we schedule an engineering session.
    Housing and admission session for our visit with a student to students experience.
    Discussion tuition support options

  • Thanks for reaching out, and we’re excited you’ll be visiting campus this fall!

    Our Grainger College of Engineering will be updating their visit options for the fall semester very soon. When they’re available, you’ll be able to sign up on our website.

    If you haven’t already signed up for an official visit through our office, you can do so on our website. Our visits focus on the student experience, including the chance to talk to current students. They also include a tour of one of our housing facilities.

    Additional Housing tours are offered through our Housing office. If you’d like to talk to our Office of Student Financial Aid while on campus, they are open from 9 to 5 Mondays through Fridays.

    We hope this helps, and we look forward to seeing you soon!