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.



September 23, 2017, 2:51 am

My daughter is interested in applying for Computer Science program at UIUC.
She feels it is very competitive to get into CS program. She is from California and that would make her application out of state. She is not sure if she would qualify. She is not sure if should spend time and get her application done by oct 15th
She has decent scores(ACT score of 34, GPA 3.85 (weighted 4.4)) but not sure if it is good enough for CS

Want to get some guidance on whether she would qualify if she applied.


Sanjay shah

September 23, 2017, 3:57 am

Sanjay shah
September 23, 2017, 3:54 am

My son is doing 5 years Electrical Engineering Dural degree (B.Tech,MTech ) from IIT. (India)

He is interested in doing research work in image & signal processing.

1) He can apply for ms or he has to apply for Phd in ECE.?

2) He is in the last year , his last term will get complete in may 18. He can apply for fall 2018 ? When & How he should send transcript ? as he has to apply before Dec 17.


Diem Nguyen

September 24, 2017, 5:15 am

Could you please provide me the guidance on how I submit IELTS . I couldn’t find it on the website.


Nino Jakhaia

September 24, 2017, 6:28 pm

Are scholarships offered to international students? If yes, what is the range of the scholarship?


Lisa Angel

September 25, 2017, 10:32 am

My son is applying early action with his first choice being Computer Science and second Math + Computer Science. I hear they do not do early action on computer science. Should he put Math + Computer science as first choice then to see if he gets into that program? Would they still send if he is accepted into Computer Science in Feb and he could decide which major he would like?
This is first choice for college and want to make sure he is accepted.
Also, do students from IL get first consideration over out of state if they have the same scores, etc?


Raghavendra Tiwary

September 26, 2017, 12:11 pm


I have a question regarding the score sending deadline. Is 7 October the last date to send scores or it refers to last possible instance to appear for SAT or other Standardised tests?I will be eagerly waiting for your guidance.


Raghavendra Tiwary.



September 26, 2017, 9:32 pm


I have a question about sending score in early action. If we submit our application by November 1st, can we offer the latest score to the school later?



September 29, 2017, 4:11 am

My son had his ACT test on Sept. 9th 2017 which got cancelled across south east asia. Now he has registered for the next ACT test date which is Oct. 28th and therefore he will not get his scores by EA deadline which is Nov.1st, 2017. Please suggest if he can send the test scores as soon as he gets them after giving the test and will be still applicable for EA. Thanks



September 29, 2017, 4:44 pm

Good Afternoon Krishna,

Thank you for your question! In order to apply by the Early Action deadline of November 1, we must receive one exam score by that date to complete your son’s application – this can be a past exam score if he has taken one. If he then re-takes the exam on October 7, we will be able to consider that score in his Early Action admissions review if we receive it prior to releasing his admissions decision on December 15. If the October 7 exam would be your son’s first exam taken, it is not guaranteed that it would reach our office by November 1 to meet the Early Action deadline.

If you have further questions about this, please contact our Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 217-333-0302 or admissions@illinois.edu.



September 29, 2017, 4:47 pm

Hi Precious,

Great question! Our test score ranges listed in our Middle 50% class profile information are not minimums in order to be admitted to the University of Illinois. We consider many factors when making an admission decision, most importantly academics and your performance in the high school setting along with exam scores, extracurricular involvement, information provided in your essay, etc. I encourage you to read more about our Review process on our website to get a better understanding of everything we take into consideration after you hit “Submit!” If you have further questions, please contact Admissions at 217-333-0302 or admissions@illinois.edu!



September 29, 2017, 4:51 pm

Good Afternoon Venkat,

I’m excited to hear of your daughter’s interest in our CS program at Illinois! While we cannot speculate on a particular student’s chances of admission, I can help clarify what we consider after a student applies to the University. We review academics within high school (courses taken, rigor, grades), exam scores, extracurriculars, interest demonstrated in the student’s essay, etc. We conduct a very holistic admissions review process for all of our programs, and we encourage all students interested to apply for admission to the programs they are truly interested in studying. Our Early Action deadline is November 1, and I would encourage your daughter to apply by that deadline as it can give her an advantage for the competitive CS academic program, as well as for honors programs and merit scholarships. Please let us know if you have any further questions!



September 29, 2017, 4:52 pm

Hello Sanjay,

If your son is interested in a graduate level program, he will need to reach out to our Graduate College to receive information about their process, timeline, and program offerings. They can be reached at 217-333-0035 or by emailing grad@illinois.edu.

Good luck!



September 29, 2017, 4:54 pm

Greetings Diem,

In order to submit IELTS scores to be considered for admissions review, please have your official results sent from the testing agency by post to our Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
901 W Illinois Street
Urbana, IL 61801



September 29, 2017, 4:55 pm

Good Afternoon Nino,

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for need-based financial aid. The application for admission is used for the few merit-based scholarships available. It is rare for international students to receive a scholarship for most majors. Additionally, The Office of Student Financial Aid has more information about tuition and fees.

Keep in mind that Illinois does have guaranteed tuition, so your base tuition rate freshman year will stay the same for four years.


Lina vic

October 1, 2017, 10:39 am

What will happens if the recommender send the response late after nov 1st?



October 1, 2017, 10:48 pm

Hello Admissions:

Can you please clarify a previous question regarding if UIUC does or does not grant acceptance to computer science major in the Early Action?





October 2, 2017, 4:17 pm

Good Afternoon Raghavendra,

Thank you for your question! We recommend that students applying by the Early Action deadline of November 1 request their test scores be sent from the testing agency to our office by October 7 to allow time for them to arrive to meet the deadline. We also have our final deadline of December 1 if students will not be able to have a test score to our office by November 1. In order to have a complete application on file, we need the online application, an application fee or fee waiver, and one exam score by our application deadlines (November 1- Early Action or December 1- Regular Decision). Students then can send additional exam scores to be considered if they arrive before their admissions decisions are posted (December 15 – Early Action or February 2 – Regular Decision).

If you have any further questions, please reach out to our office at 217-333-0302!



October 2, 2017, 4:19 pm

Hello Zach,

Great question! As long as have a complete application by November 1, including one SAT or ACT exam score, we can review additional exam scores we receive as long as they arrive prior to releasing Early Action admissions decisions on December 15.

If you have further questions, please let us know by emailing Admissions@illinois.edu or calling 217-333-0302!



October 2, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hello there Nani,

Thank you for your question! We must receive one exam score by November 1 in order for a student’s application to be complete and considered Early Action. If your son has taken a previous exam, I recommend he request that score be sent from the testing agency now to arrive in time for our EA deadline. If the October 28 exam will be your son’s first exam, it will not be possible for those scores to arrive by November 1 to meet the EA deadline, but as long as they arrive by our final application deadline of December 1, his application will be complete and considered for admissions review.

I hope this information is helpful; please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions if you have further questions!



October 2, 2017, 4:23 pm

Good Afternoon Lina,

We do not accept any letters of recommendation during our admissions review process, so no need to have them sent! You can read more about what we do review for admissions purposes here. Let me know if you have any further questions! You can contact our office at admissions@illinois.edu or by calling 217-333-0302.



October 2, 2017, 4:36 pm

Good Afternoon Sherry,

Thank you for your question! All programs admit students who applied by our Early Action deadline of November 1 with the admissions notification date of December 15, including Computer Science. For some of our more competitive academic programs (such as CS), a student can be deferred in December to allow us to evaluate the entire applicant pool before a final decision is posted on February 2. Please let us know if you have any further questions!



October 2, 2017, 4:57 pm

Good Afternoon Lisa,

All programs admit students during our Early Action filing period with the admissions notification date of December 15, including Computer Science. For some of our more competitive academic programs such as CS and Math+CS, a student can be deferred in December to allow us to evaluate the entire applicant pool before a final decision is posted on February 2. All students are admitted to one major; if they are admitted and then choose to change their major before enrolling, there is another form to be completed and submitted by the student that we must approve in order to admit them to the change in program.

We conduct a holistic review process for each applicant. We do consider residency in our review, and Illinois residents can have priority, but we admit residents, non-residents, and international students to every major on campus.

If you have further questions, please contact Admissions at 217-333-0302 or by emailing admissions@illinois.edu.


Nikita Arbuzov

October 7, 2017, 3:21 am


I am from Russia. I am studying quite good in the last grade of my school now and I am dreaming to become a student of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This university takes the first place in my list of different universities.

But I have one problem:

I am considering to take my TOEFL exam on December 2. I cannot do it earlier because I have not prepared properly yet. My results will be available only on December 13. I know that I must provide my results by December 12 but it is impossible for me.
Could you advise me what to do? Can I count on the consideration of my application by your university after December 12?

Hope to get an advice,
Thank you

Nikita Arbuzov



October 8, 2017, 4:03 pm

Dear Admissions,

Today is October 8th and I am getting started on sending the test scores for my son. I know you have mentioned no later than October 7th. We typically see ACT scores being delivered in 2 days. Is your criteria to receive the test scores before November 1st for early action OR the criteria to initiate the test scores by October 7th. I just do not want to miss out on early action and hence concerned. ACT tells us that it would be delivered electronically to University of Illinois in 2-3 days. Please confirm that we are not late for early action!

Thanks for the help!



October 13, 2017, 11:14 am

Hello Randy,

We will need to receive the test scores by November 1st to be reviewed during the Early Action period. As long as your scores arrive before then, you will be fine.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Office of Admissions by calling 217-333-0302 or emailing. admissions@illinois.edu.



October 13, 2017, 11:19 am

Hello Nikita,

The TOEFL is not a requirement to complete your application. The test will be used to evaluate your application. The Early Action deadline is December 15th. As long as your scores arrive before that date, we will be able to use them to review your application.

If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Admissions at 217-333-0302 or by emailing admissions@illinois.edu.



October 25, 2017, 4:46 pm

My daughter is interested in Biology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Entomology. What is the best way for her to list them on her application as Entomology is an individual plan of study?



October 27, 2017, 4:26 pm

My son is following a french patterned education system known to be very conservative on grades at high school. So comparing candidates’ gpa from this system to other international systems cannot give fair comparaison between candidates apart the fact that in some countries gpas can be easily and unduely highered. So gpa or standardized tests have more weight for international candidates applying in engineering?



October 28, 2017, 10:43 pm

Hello! I am already applying early decision somewhere else can I still apply early action at Illinois?


Chris Wallace

October 30, 2017, 10:39 am

Hi Britney,

Thank you for reaching out! At the point in which your daughter is applying, she will not be able to select Entomology as a major choice. We give students the option of selecting two majors when they are applying. Your daughter should aim at applying to Integrative and/or Cellular and Molecular Biology. If she is admitted to either of those majors, she will be able to set up her Individual Plan of Study with her advisor within second semester of her freshman year. For more information, feel free to contact the Biology advising department directly using the contact information below.

Email: advising@sib.illinois.edu
2002 Natural History Building
1201 W Green St,
Urbana, Il 61801
Office Hours: 9:00 – 12:00 and 1:00 – 4:45
Phone: (217) 333-3046



October 30, 2017, 1:42 pm

Great question, Sudisksha! You are more than welcome to apply Early Decision at another institution as well as Early Action at Illinois. However, it is important to know that if you are admitted to an institution as an Early Decision applicant, you are contractually obligated to attend. If you are admitted as an Early Action applicant at Illinois, you can still choose to accept admission elsewhere. We hope this helps! If you have more questions, feel free to email us at admissions@illinois.edu or call us at 217-333-0302.



October 30, 2017, 1:42 pm

Thank you for your question, Sami! We actually review applicants within the context of their high school settings. It is common that we see international applicants from the French Education System, so we will be able to evaluate their application equally. This is one of the many benefits of our holistic review process! If you have more questions, feel free to email us at admissions@illinois.edu or call us at 217-333-0302.


Srivardhan Sajja

October 31, 2017, 7:18 pm

I have already submitted the myIllini app, and the Collegeboard says the scores were sent today, but the app still has that red box – “Missing Items ACT/SAT Scores”. So, have the scores not been sent, because Collegeboard definitely shows under UIUC, “fulfilled” status.
What should I do?



October 31, 2017, 11:07 pm


I have completed the early application for my daughter, however, there was delay from my side on sending IELTS scores. I sent SAT scores on time and lately realized that IELTS scores also should have been sent in the first week of October. Letters from agency already dispatched on 26th Oct and I am expecting to reach it within a weeks time from now. Will you still consider application valid for Early Action? Is it good idea for me to share receipt having IELTS scores mentioned to admission office through e-mail?



November 1, 2017, 4:23 pm

Hi Srivardhan,
We recommend you call our office at 217-333-0302 to verify that your scores have been received. Please be patient in allowing time for scores to be processed and matched to your file; at that time, they will show as received on your Application Status Page and your application will be complete. We hope this helps!



November 1, 2017, 4:25 pm

Hi Sharad,
IELTS scores come through the mail, so they can take a bit longer to get to our office. We recommend that you and your daughter call us at 217-333-0302 or email us at admissions@illinois.edu so we can discuss her specific situation. We hope this helps!



November 2, 2017, 8:30 am

Thanks Chris. I have followed your guidance and my problem got addressed.
Appreciate the prompt help.



November 2, 2017, 10:17 am

Thank you for the information Chris!