Decisions: What do they mean?

When it comes time to hear back from us after you’ve applied, it’s important to understand what our different decisions mean.


You’ve been invited to join the Illinois family! You can view next steps in your admitted checklist in myIllini.

If the program you were admitted to wasn’t your first choice, know that we strongly considered you for it. We didn’t have room for all qualified applicants, however, and so offered you admission to another program instead (in some cases, your second choice). You’re also considered wait listed for your first choice. If space becomes available in your first-choice major later on, we’ll let you know even if you’ve declined your alternate offer.

If you’re interested in transferring to another program after enrolling at Illinois, we recommend you work with your academic advisor to learn the requirements and timeline needed to eventually enter that program.


December notification only.

If you applied to a particularly competitive major before our early action deadline, we want to determine how you and your strengths fit into this year’s entire freshman applicant pool. In order to do that, we need to wait until we’ve received all applications.

You’ll be given a decision by our second notification date. At that time, you may be admitted, denied, or wait listed. Please note that we won’t accept additional documents while you’re waiting on your decision.

Wait Listed

March notification.

Because Illinois receives so many more applications from highly qualified and capable students than there are available positions in the entering class, some students we’re very interested in receive an offer to join our wait list. Once we know how many students have accepted our initial offer of admission, we’ll use the wait list to fill remaining spots in the class.

The wait list isn’t ranked; our selection of students is based on a variety of factors and remaining needs for the class. Our commitment to holistic review will continue as we select students from the wait list in order to balance and complete our freshman class.


You haven’t been selected for admission to Illinois at this time. Please see our denied freshman FAQ for more information. We do encourage you to explore Illinois as an option for transfer after completing 30 transferable credits at a different institution. To learn more, see our Transfer Handbook.