Freshman Applicant Action Plans

College prep,
year by year.

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Freshman Year

  1. Join myIllini to hear more from us, meet your admissions counselor, find events nearby, and sign up for campus visits.
  2. Talk to your counselor to make sure you're taking challenging classes and are on track to meet our admissions requirements.
  3. Explore different academic interests by getting involved in extracurricular activities that you enjoy.
  4. Attend summer programs hosted on our campus to learn a whole lot and see what life at Illinois is like.

Sophomore Year

  1. If you haven’t already, join myIllini to hear more from us, meet your admissions counselor, find events nearby, and sign up for campus visits.
  2. Talk to your counselor about your college goals and academic interests, making sure your class schedule is demanding and you’re still on track to meet our requirements.
  3. Become more involved with extracurricular activities that relate to your academic interests, taking on leadership positions in the ones you enjoy most.
  4. Sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT. Before taking such tests, you can practice online for free.
  5. In addition to attending Illinois summer programs, look for other great summer opportunities such as volunteer work, an internship, or a job.

Junior Year

  1. If you haven’t already, join myIllini to hear more from us, meet your admissions counselor, find events nearby, and sign up for campus visits.
  2. After creating a list of your preferences and strengths, narrow down your academic interests until you have a major or two in mind.
  3. Talk to your counselor about your college goals, making sure you’re still on track to meet our requirements based on your potential major. Discuss taking advantage of any challenging coursework your school offers, like AP or IB classes.
  4. Stay involved in your extracurricular activities, continuing to look for opportunities related to your potential major and leadership positions that involve more time and responsibility.
  5. If you haven’t taken the PSAT/NMSQT yet, sign up to do so in October. In addition, register and practice for your ACT or SAT tests.
  6. Talk to your family about possible college options. Consider what's important to you (size, affordability, a specific major, research, athletics, distance from home, and so on).

Senior Year

  1. Make a list of 5 to 10 colleges that interest you most, visiting as many of them as possible (including Illinois!) before you apply.
  2. Create a calendar of important dates, including test dates, college application deadlines, and financial aid deadlines.
  3. Fill out college admissions applications (you can apply to Illinois through myIllini). Ask your parents, counselor, or English teacher to review your essays.
  4. Meet with your counselor to verify the colleges you’ve applied to in order to send out your test scores, and check the status of each of your applications.
  5. Apply for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and search for local, state, and national scholarships.
  6. Rank the colleges you've been admitted to in order of preference and evaluate your options. Make sure to visit your top choice before accepting its offer by May 1!
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