Why Apply Early Action?

Two of my favorite quotes in life are “The early bird gets the worm” and “The first to arrive has the best chance of success.” These sayings are very accurate, especially when it comes to the Illinois admissions process.

Early Action is our preferred application filing period, and it’s available from August 30th to November 1st. In order for you to be considered an Early Action applicant, we need to receive your submitted application and all other necessary documents (including your test scores and application fee or fee waiver) by November 1st.

Please note that there is no binding agreement attached to our Early Action filing period. Therefore, if you’re admitted, you’re not obligated to come to Illinois unless you really want to.

Applying Early Action is the best choice for multiple reasons: First, your application will be reviewed early. This year, we’ll give Early Action applicants a status update on December 15th, meaning you’ll likely receive an admissions decision before regular applicants. Early Action applicants will also receive priority in the review process for honors programs and merit awards, which are facilitated by the Office of Student Financial Aid. Lastly, applying Early Action may give you the best chance for being admitted if you’re applying to a competitive program with space limitations.

In case you haven’t done so already, be sure to have your test scores sent to our office as soon as possible. Remember, we’ll only accept your scores if they’re sent directly from the testing agency. In order for you to be considered an Early Action applicant, we must receive and process your scores by November 1st. This means you should request to have your test scores sent by October 7th at the latest. If you are retaking an exam and want to send your new scores after the Early Action filing period, we’ll only consider them if we haven’t already made a decision on your application.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to utilize the comment section below and I will get back to you ASAP!


Please note that comments close after 90 days.

Kristen Raffanti

August 21, 2017, 11:00 am


I have a question about early action. I am interested in applying and want to major in Bioengineering. I am still reviewing my essay. Applicants who apply the earliest during August 30th-November 1st, will have priority in the review process for merit awards and for honors programs. Does it make a difference for someone who applies October 1st compared to August 30th.


Kristen Raffanti



August 25, 2017, 12:03 pm

Hi Kristen,

Thank you for reaching out! It is to your best advantage to apply as early as possible. We review complete applications as they arrive. Your application will not be deemed complete until we have received your application fee or fee waiver, all necessary test scores and a complete Self Reported Academic Record (SRAR).
Just to give you some context, last year we had nearly 40 thousand students apply! It is best that you be on the early end of the spectrum versus the later end. Best of luck to you and if you have any other questions, I am happy to assist.


Kola Krishna Mohan

August 31, 2017, 12:27 am

Dear Sir,

Please inform my son SAT test on October 7th if scores sent directly can it be considered for early action or regular decision.



Precious Adebayo

September 5, 2017, 5:34 pm

Hi,I am a Senior in high school and I like University of Illinois,but i am confused and scared that i might not qualify because my first college career interest is BioEnginnering ,but my SAT score does not reach the requirement. I have the good grades and stuff.So does that mean I may not enter the Engineering field due to the Test passmark?.What are my options. Thank you.


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