Freshman Applicant FAQ

General Application

Freshman applicants can choose to apply to Illinois in one of two ways: myIllini or Coalition. We don't give preference based on your application type. Only one freshman application is permitted per applicant, and the first submitted application is considered official.

Application deadlines can be found on our dates page.

The early action filing period is explained on our dates page.

No, we don’t accept letter of recommendation or other unsolicited materials. An audition, portfolio, or interview may be required for Fine and Applied Arts applicants. See our application process for more details.

We won’t consider your application complete and won’t process it until we receive an application fee or an authorized fee waiver submitted by your high school counselor. If you submit the fee when you submit your application, we strongly encourage you to pay by credit card. If you choose to pay later, you can pay by credit card through your status page in myIllini.

No, we won't consider additional activities or honors once the application is submitted.

Approximately 26% of our incoming freshmen are nonresidents. Out-of-state students are evaluated against the same criteria used for in-state students.

No, there is not a separate application or process for international applicants.

Until you receive your green card, we'll consider you an international applicant. When you receive your green card, send us a copy, and we’ll change your status within our system. Read more about residency.

No, we’ll only request financial documents and official transcripts if you’re admitted to the university and choose to attend.

Self-Reported Courses

On the application for admission, you’ll be asked to enter your courses and grades for years 9 to 11 as they appear on your official high school transcript. You’ll also be asked to enter your courses in progress for year 12.

You must have your high school transcript with you when filling out the Courses section, entering all information exactly as it appears on your document. All semester, trimester, or quarter grades must be listed in the Courses section. Don’t average grades.

If you’re admitted and plan to enroll, your final, official transcript must match the information in the Courses section. If it doesn’t, your admission offer will be rescinded.

Prior to submitting the application, you may save your progress and return to complete it or make changes to it. You can’t edit your application once it's submitted, so review your entries carefully before doing so.

If you have an update to your senior year schedule or you find an error after submitting your application, complete our Course Change Form in myIllini.

If you’re admitted and decide to enroll at Illinois, you’ll be required to submit final, official high school transcripts once you graduate. Don’t send official transcripts at the time of application or after mid-year grades are received.

Yes, all courses taken in 9th grade must be reported regardless of where they were taken.

Advanced courses taken in 7th and 8th grade in mathematics or a language other than English may count toward your subject pattern requirement.

myIllini: To list them, select "Pre-High School" in the term field.

Coalition: To list them, enter them as 9th grade courses.

myIllini: Select "No" for the class rank question and do not report the decile.

Coalition: Select "Deciles" for the rank question and enter your decile in the Class Rank box.

Yes, the application gives you the opportunity to self-report any college courses or dual credit courses you’ve taken prior to enrolling at Illinois.

  • If you attended multiple U.S. high schools and your current high school transcript lists the courses and grades from your previous high school, you can use your current high school’s transcript to complete the Courses section. You’ll need to list all high schools attended separately.
  • If your current high school doesn’t list the courses and grades from your previous high school, use your previous high school’s transcript to complete the Courses section for the years you attended that school.
  • If you’ve transferred from an international high school to a U.S. high school, enter all international coursework as it appears on your international transcript or grade report. If you decide to enroll at Illinois, you’ll need to send official transcripts from all international schools you’ve attended in addition to your current U.S. high school transcript.

You must have your external exam results with you when self-reporting your scores, entering all information as it appears on your document. If you're admitted and plan to enroll, your final, official exam results must match the information you reported. If they don't, your admission offer will be rescinded.

Create a high school record for the school or schools you attended while preparing for the exam. You don't need to create high school records for the years in which exams weren't taken; those courses and grades don't need to be reported.

myIllini: In the Education section, answer "Yes" to the education system question of "Are you or have you been enrolled in an educational system which includes externally administered exams?"

In the Courses section, check the box for "I only have international exam results during this period."

In the Other Academic Information section, enter all external exams you've taken and the scores you've received. Also enter all exams you plan to take and check the radio button for "Results Not Received Yet."

If you’re admitted and plan to enroll, your final, official exam results must match the information you reported. If they don't, your admission offer will be rescinded.

Examples: India, Singapore, Malaysia

Coalition: In the High School Information section, check the box stating "This is an exam-based school." Then answer the two questions below.

In the 9-11 Grade Coursework section, enter all external exams you've taken and the scores you've received for the appropriate years.

In the 12 Grade Coursework section, enter the exams you plan to take and select "No Grade to Report."

Example: India

If your transcript includes a numerical to letter grading scale:

myIllini: Select the radio button for "A-F grades or numerical grades with a grading scale listed on the transcript" and enter the grading scale conversion. In the courses section, enter the corresponding letter grades.

Coalition: Select the radio button for "Letters" and the corresponding letter grades.

If your transcript doesn’t include a numerical to letter grading scale:

myIllini: Select the radio button for "Other" and enter the grading scale. In the courses section, enter your numerical grades.

Coalition: Select the radio button for "Numbers." Enter the highest and lowest grade possible along with the grades you received.

Select "Other" as your type of grading scale and enter a grading scale/conversion, even if one does not appear on your transcript. Enter your grades exactly as they appear on your transcript.

Report your courses as year-long. It's true that the courses are only a semester long, but they're worth a year of work.

myIllini: Select "Yes" to the block scheduling question on the Education page of the application.

Coalition: Check the box indicating your school using block scheduling on the Coursework page.

If you took a high school equivalency exam and completed some high school coursework, include all completed high school coursework in the Courses section. You’ll need to send a copy of your high school equivalency exam to our office.

If you took a high school equivalency exam and didn’t complete any high school coursework, contact our office to explain your situation and receive more details. You’ll need to send a copy of your high school equivalency exam to our office.

Test Scores

We accept both exams, and no preference is given to either.

No, the SAT Subject Tests aren't part of our review process and won't be loaded with your application.

You don't need a set score to be admitted. Admission decisions are based on a variety of factors. Read more on how we review.

No, we'll review your application based on the test scores you report (ACT, SAT I, TOEFL, and IELTS). If you enroll at Illinois, you'll be required to submit official scores for all scores you reported.

Yes, since you can send your scores to four schools for free when you take a test, take advantage of that now.  If you are admitted and accept the offer, you'll have to pay to send them later.

Report the highest SAT total or ACT composite score you earned, along with the highest sub-scores you earned in each category, regardless of test date. Don’t recalculate a new total or composite.

Yes, you still need to complete the self-reported test score section of the application.

If you have scores from a previous test, report those when you apply. If you receive higher scores before a decision is made on your application, you can have those sent or submit the Test Score Change Form to add them to your application. If you don't have any scores yet, you can still submit your application by listing your future test date on the application. However, your application will remain incomplete until we either receive official scores or you submit the Test Score Change Form in myIllini with scores you've earned.

You may have the official scores sent to our office, or you may submit the Test Score Change Form found in myIllini.

English proficiency requirements can be found on our admissions process page.

Second-Choice Major

Yes, we strongly recommend it, especially if you're applying into one of our more competitive programs such as Engineering or Business. If you're not admissible to your first choice, you'll be reviewed for your second choice. If you're not admissible to either one, you'll be considered for all other avenues of admission. If you're admitted into your second choice or another program, you're considered wait listed for your first choice. This means that if space later opens up, we'll consider you again.

If you don't select a second choice, you'll only be considered for your first choice. This option is only appropriate if you're certain you won't attend Illinois unless you're admitted to your first choice. If you don't select a second choice and you're not competitive for your first choice, you'll be wait listed or denied. You won't be considered for any other avenue of admission.

No, your application will receive a thorough review for your first-choice major. If you're not competitive within that pool, you'll then be reviewed for your second-choice major and all other avenues of admission.

No, not all majors are available due to space constraints. Majors unavailable as a second choice include Bioengineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science (including all Computer Science + X majors), First-Year Engineering: Undeclared, Mechanical Engineering, and all Music majors except Music BA, which doesn't require an audition.

Most likely, you'll want to select a second choice that's similar to your first-choice major based on your interests. We suggest keeping an open mind in selecting a second choice and encourage you to research our majors by interest area. You may find majors in other colleges on campus that fit your interests. If you select a specific major as your second choice, you should be interested in pursuing a degree in that field. If you're unsure of a specific major, you can choose our Undeclared program in the Division of General Studies (DGS) as your second choice.

If there's a major you're considering, you should list it as your second choice. If you're exploring, there's no need to list a second-choice major.

No. If you're eligible, you'll only be admitted into one of the majors. If you want to declare a double major, you'll need to discuss that with your academic advisor once on campus.

Yes, we want to know why you are interested in your second-choice major as well. No additional essay is required if you list Undeclared in DGS as your second choice.

We recommend you craft separate essays. When evaluating your essays, we're looking for the reason you're interested in the major you selected, whether it's your first choice or your second choice. If you feel that your second choice corresponds with your first choice, it's possible to reuse portions of your first-choice essay. However, we still want to see a true interest and understanding of your second-choice major through your essay.

Yes, you can perform either task through the Program Change Form, which can be found on your status page in myIllini. Once decisions are released, it's no longer possible to add a second-choice major or change an existing one.

Preference will be given to those applicants who listed the major as their first choice, but you'll be given equal consideration with all other applicants who chose the major as a second choice.

Due to space limitations, Illinois residents will be given preference for admission into second choice majors. Historically, there has not been space available to admit non-Illinois residents to the Undeclared program in the Division of General Studies.

Home-Schooled

Yes, we encourage you to apply to the university.

We’re very interested in having talented, well-qualified applicants from a variety of settings. Your academic experiences help bring diversity to our campus.

Approximately 60 to 70 home-schooled students are admitted each year. We don’t set a limit on how many can be admitted. The most qualified students in our applicant pool will be selected for admission.

You’re reviewed on an individual basis, similar to all other freshman applicants. A completed application, application fee or fee waiver, and official test scores need to be submitted for your application to be considered complete. See our application process for more information.

The Admissions Review Committee and the Office of Admissions reviews each application. If you’re eligible to take a high school equivalency exam, we require you to provide us with the results. If you’re not eligible to take a high school equivalency exam, we continue to look very closely at your other application requirements. The strength of your test scores, type of home school experience, and application essays all go into making this decision.

No, we don’t accept letters of recommendation. We’ll remove any unsolicited materials, including letters of recommendation, from your file before reviewing your application.

You can augment your home-school experience with some more traditional schooling experiences, such as community or local college coursework or selected courses at a local high school. Taking Advanced Placement exams can confirm that you’re prepared and may also result in earning college credit.

All of our applicants, including home-schooled students, will automatically be considered for any merit-based scholarships. We'll consider your curriculum and grades at your home school and any college coursework you may have taken prior to enrollment. We'll also consider your test scores, involvement, awards, and essay.

Review & Notification

We understand that every school offers different curricula. For this reason, we expect you to take advantage of the most challenging courses available at your particular school, earning strong grades in your courses. We also consider your test scores, essays, and extracurricular involvement when making our final admissions decision.

Notification dates are listed on our dates page. You can view our different decisions and what they mean on our decisions page.

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