Reasons to Apply Early Action at UIUC

I hope you all are settling into senior year and it is off to a great start! Many of you are probably in the midst of application preparation. Questions may have come up about our Early Action process and what this means. Look no further! My hope with this blog is that it helps you understand our early action application process. Let’s break down some of the most frequently asked questions!

Are there any benefits to applying Early Action?

Yes, there are! Applying Early Action may give you the best chance for being admitted to our most selective programs. It may also provide special attention for admission to honors programs and for merit awards.

How can I be considered an Early Action Applicant?

You must submit a completed application and application fee (or fee waiver) by November 15, 2020 in order to be considered an early action applicant. You can track your application status through myIllini to ensure you have everything submitted.

Is Early Action the same as Early Decision?

No, it is not! Early Action is a non-binding agreement. You are not obligated to attend Illinois if you apply Early Action. Ultimately, you have until May 1st to accept or decline your offer of admission.

When will I receive an admission notification?

In order to allow you additional time to potentially retest and to provide a thorough holistic review during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are suspending the Early Action notification for the 2021 application cycle. Admission notification will be in mid-February 2021 for all applicants.

I hope this provides further information about applying early action!

View our Complete Guide to applying to UIUC to learn even more about our application process and what is required.

As always, let us know if you have any questions! We are here to help! You may speak with an admissions counselor by calling 217-333-0302 or you may email us with your questions at Take care!



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.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • @Brian – quick question for you – now that all admissions decisions are being announced at the same time (today @ 4pmCT) was there any priority placed on the people that applied Early Action? In your blog above, you state “Applying Early Action may give you the best chance for being admitted to our most selective programs.” Since all applicants ended up being evaluated together was there no priority for Early Action applications? Just curious – thanks.

  • Hi Julie,
    While all students are receiving their admission decision today, yes, priority consideration was given to students who applied during the early action timeframe for the major(s) they applied to. We hope this helps! If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to email us or call us at 217-333-0302.

  • Hello! How do we indicate that we would like to apply early action on the common application? – Thank you!

  • Hi Kolitha,

    Thanks for reaching out, and good question! If you’re applying through Common App, you’re only able to select “Regular Decision” as your preferred admission plan. However, you’ll be eligible for priority admission if you submit the application by the priority deadline and all other items, including your self-reported academic record (SRAR), by November 10.

    Note that we have two deadlines this year: priority admission and regular admission. All decisions will be released in mid-February. You can learn more on our website:

    We hope this helps. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to email us or call us at 217-333-0302.

  • Hi Brian, do you think it’s more beneficial to apply early without a test score or to wait for my score and apply regular decision? Thank you!

  • Thanks for reaching out, Caitlin. The answer to your question really is dependent on quite a few factors, including your intended major, your high school performance, and other aspects of your application. We encourage you to call our office at 217-333-0302 to discuss your specific situation so that we can best guide you.

  • Hi Samantha, and thanks for reaching out. Our transfer admissions process is different from our first-year admissions process. You can learn more about our transfer dates and deadlines on our website. Note that if you’re applying for fall admission, we do encourage you to apply as soon as your fall grades are available since many of our programs fill quickly. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly. We hope this helps!

  • Hi! I applied early action through the Common App, but my “myIllini” dashboard shows my status as complete for regular decision and that I will get my decision on March 3, 2023. Will I still be considered for early action since I submitted early and put “early action” on the Common App? Thanks!

  • Thanks for reaching out, Jane! For Common App applicants who submitted the application by November 1, it can take up to 24 hours for your status to change to Early Action after submitting the SRAR, assuming all other supporting materials have also been received. We hope this helps! If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

  • hello, Brian:

    as early action is accompanied by early decision, I am wondering if early decision is a binding agreement.



  • Thanks for reaching out, Ping! Early action at UIUC is non-binding, which means you have the same amount of time to accept your offer as other students. That deadline is May 1 (National College Decision Day). If you have any other questions for us, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!

  • Hi Brian, many schools have this policy that the early action applicants cannot be rejected but only deferred or accepted… Is it the same for UIUC early action applicants, or can they get rejected if not admitted?