Ready. Set. Apply to UIUC!

We are thrilled to announce that our freshman application for admission is now open! Yes, that’s right—you can apply to UIUC NOW through myIllini or Coalition.

Applying to college is an exciting time, but we understand that this is a new process for many of you and you may be experiencing some nerves. We wanted to take a moment to share some helpful tips as you start your application and hopefully ease some of your concerns.

First thing’s first, apply early and mark your calendar with important dates and deadlines!

We encourage you to apply during our early action filing period, which ends November 15. Doing so may give you the best chance for being admitted to our most selective programs and special attention for admission to honors programs and for merit awards.

The key thing to remember is that we need your completed application and your application fee or fee waiver by November 15 for your application to be considered in our early action filing period.

Double check your myIllini application status page to ensure your application is complete by the deadline!

If you don’t get your application in by November 15, you still have time to submit your application!  We accept applications until  January 5.

Regardless of when you apply, all students will be notified of their admission decision in mid-February.

Next, be prepared!

Before you start the application, make sure you have a copy of your high school transcript, any test scores you choose to report (more on that later!), and a credit card to pay the application fee (if you don’t have a fee waiver).

With the UIUC application, all your coursework and grades will be self-reported. You may be asking yourself, well, if all my courses and grades are self-reported, do I need to have my official transcripts sent to Admissions? The answer is no, not at the time of application. Again, we just need all this information inputted by YOU. That is why it is crucial to have a copy of your high school transcript in front of you to ensure complete accuracy. We ask that you self-report your coursework and grades for years 9 through 11 along with your senior year schedule.

Because current high school seniors have had limited opportunities since spring 2020 to take or retake the ACT or SAT due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we aren’t requiring you to submit these scores this year. You may be wondering whether you should report your scores. We encourage you to report your scores if you feel they accurately represent your ability. It is very important to carefully consider your decision because you will not be able to change it later on!

If you do choose to provide your test scores, though, you’ll self-report them within the application. Just like transcripts, we do not need you to submit the official score reports at the time of application.

Do your research on what major(s) you want to apply to!

We have over 150 majors you can choose from when applying to UIUC. That’s a lot of options! To help you narrow these options down, we encourage you to spend some time looking through our Program Explorer.

In our application, you have the opportunity to apply to not one, but two majors! Definitely take advantage of this. Here is how this process works: we will first review you for your first choice major. If you aren’t admissible to that program of study, we will then review you for the second choice program of study if one is listed. If you aren’t admissible to either one, you will be considered for all other avenues of admission. In other words, by listing a second choice, it opens up more opportunities for admission.

Don’t be afraid to be yourself!

The essay portion of the application provides you a great opportunity to showcase YOU. We do actually read your essay and it is part of our holistic review, so don’t rush through this section of the application—dedicate some time to writing a thoughtful, personalized essay.

The best advice we can offer you is be memorable, be prepared, be yourself, be focused, be current, and be professional.

You only have a couple of paragraphs to fully answer the essay prompt, so don’t waste time—make every word count.

Feel free to view the essay prompt now to get an early start on writing the essay before you start the rest of the application.

We have a blog dedicated to providing helpful tips on crafting your UIUC admissions essay, so don’t forget to read that before you start writing.

As always, we are here for you! Along the way, if you do have questions, don’t be afraid to ask us. We are more than happy to help answer any of your questions regarding the application process. You can contact one of our admission counselors by email at or by phone at 217-333-0302. We look forward to receiving your application!



Senior Associate Director of Recruitment & Outreach, Undergraduate Admissions
I'm here to help high school students and their families navigate the college search process. An Illinois alumnus (LAS ’02), I had the honor to play football for the Orange and Blue.

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