Counselor FAQ

What's the Early Action Filing Period?

The Early Action Filing Period is explained on our dates page.

How do you weigh the admissions criteria?

The heaviest weight is given to objective academic criteria (i.e., grades, rigor, and test scores). Subjective factors such as extracurricular involvement and the essay won’t compensate for major deficits in academic credentials, but they can make a positive or negative impact on the admission decision.

The application asks about activities outside the classroom. Is there a minimum number of activities, honors, or volunteer hours you are looking for?

No, we’re not looking for a specific number of hours or types of activities. The quality of involvement, including the impact a student has outside of the classroom, is a bigger factor than the number of activities listed. We’re looking for students who will take advantage of the many opportunities available at Illinois. Participation in extracurricular activities in high school will be a positive factor in the admission review, but not at the expense of the academic criteria.

Can all students select a second-choice major?

Yes, we encourage all students to select a second choice. This doesn't disadvantage them for admission to their first choice. If there's another major they're interested in, they should select that program. In selecting a specific major for their second choice, students should be interested in pursuing a degree in that program. If they're unsure or if they just want to be considered for all avenues of admission, they should select Undeclared in the Division of General Studies.

Is ACT Writing or SAT I Essay required?

These sections aren't required for admission into most majors. For students applying to a teaching licensure program, ACT Writing is required.

Do you accept letters of recommendation?

No. Even if you send them, we won’t read or consider them. If your student has had extenuating circumstances that require your documentation, submit our Counselor Explanation Form.

Do you use legacy in the admissions process?

No, we don’t consider if a student is a legacy during the admission process.

If a student is denied, can the student apply for another major?

If a student selected a second-choice major on the application, he or she was already considered for his or her first choice, second choice, and all other avenues of admission.

Can students apply past the application deadline?

If students are interested in applying past the deadline, they must submit a petition within myIllini. It's up to the review committee to determine if the petition will be approved. If so, the student will be notified via email and may then submit an application.