Location: Champaign-Urbana, IL
Funding: Public University
Size: 32, 294
Percent are Women: 45%
Tuition (one year): $15, 602 (in-state); $30,228 (out-of-state)
Most Popular Majors: Engineering, Business, Advertising, Communications, Psychology
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: 62.39%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad and average test scores, visit the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign’s website at http://admissions.illinois.edu.
Why Choose Illinois?
"Coming from a small town, I wanted to go to a university where everyone didn’t know everyone and I would have endless opportunities. The University of Illinois was the perfect choice for that! It’s such a big university that allows me to meet new people nearly every day, but also has been made smaller by becoming a part of several campus organizations. Not only are there countless opportunities for education here, but there's also over 1,000 student clubs to join. No matter what your interests are, UIUC has something for you to take part in."
"I decided to come to U of I because of the amazing quality of education that is provided, specifically in the College of Business. Many of the programs across all colleges here are ranked top in the nation, so by coming here students know that they will have an advantage over other graduates once they start looking for employment. Along with that, the campus is very social and there is always something to do. No matter what your interests are, there will always be something students can find and enjoy doing."
"I chose this school because it was far enough from home that I could have my space, but close enough to go home if I needed to."
"This university is the complete college experience. I wanted to have the full campus vibe, and I wouldn't have been able to do that in a city. The Greek life, beautiful buildings and Big Ten sports atmosophere are just some of the things that I fell in love with."
"I decided on coming to U of I not only for the university's prestige, but because it offers a wide variety of majors and opportunities for students all over the world! Also, as a Chicagoan, it's far enough to finally be able to care myself. I have truly gained a ton of independent skills here that I would not have gotten if I studied back at home. But it is also close enough to go home on weekends and visit my family. Our university also hosts many international students. In many ways it helps us become more diverse and better understand the world."
"It was a huge change coming from a small-town in Massachusetts to such a large university. I wanted to have the chance to meet different groups of people and find my niche. The University of Illinois makes it super easy to do just that!"
"My favorite part of school is the night life and Greek life."
“I’m proud to be an Illini because of the academics, the variety of RSO’s and the connection I have with the faculty.”
"Some of U of I traditions include Unofficial, Welcome Week, Quad Day, Illinois Marathon and sorority recruitment.”
"My favorite parts of school are my classes, sitting in the Psych atrium and The Canopy Club! Most of all, I love that the school provides the opportunity to be a part of research experiements and to volunteer in the community!"
"Many people don't know this, but you only have to be 19 to get into bars. That's something unique about our town and makes the campus that much more integrated!"
"We're a work hard, play hard school. While the night life is great, we're an academically prestigous university and students take pride in that."
“I don't really like our public transportation. Even as a junior, I barely know the bus system. I still haven't learned where the buses pick up or go, so I always have to ask one of my roommates. One time I got on a bus that I thought was going to the ARC, and I ended up off campus in downtown Urbana. They can also get really packed sometimes, especially during the winter. Not only can you not find a seat, but there's barely any room to stand and you're always bumping into people or being pushed.”
"I wish we had more school spirit and actually went to sporting events. Don't get me wrong, I love Block as much as the next person, but watching the football game from Memorial Stadium as opposed to the bar would be fun for once."
"U of I can be very cliquey because people come from a lot of the same hometowns. There are times where I feel like everyone dresses the same and does the same things. I wish people acted more like individuals and did their own thing.”
“The campus is huge, and not just physically. While I like being a small fish in a big pond, most of my classes freshman and sophomore year were giant lectures with at least 200 people. This can make it really hard to speak up in class or get to know the teacher on a more personal level.”
“I wish that I knew more about all of the resources available to me. Being on such a big campus can be overwhelming at times. It would help if my college provided me with more information and assistance.”
"Sometimes it seems like everything on campus revolves around drinking and going out. I feel like I get judged when I just want to take it easy or don't feel like drinking one night."
New Collegiette on Campus
“Being a first year isn't too bad. It's not like in high school where being a freshman is awful. It's a great, new experience. Freshmen don't have a separate place than other students. It's a good mix of people. Orientation was quite fast, but it was an interesting experience. It's just as easy to make friends with people in different years as the same year.”
“Orientation was very brief for just one day over the summer. You get to meet our counselors and they help us pick out classes. Welcome week activities were more helpful, and it was nice being on campus to acclimate those first few days without worrying about schoolwork. There was a women in Engineering Camp that started a few days before all the other freshmen moved in and then international students were also allowed to move in earlier. It’s actually rather difficult to meet older people, unless you join clubs or sororities or you know someone previously. There were really no set traditions besides Convocation which involved the entire freshman class going to the basketball Stadium for a ceremony and then heading over to the football stadium for a pep rally and cookout.”
“Everyone has different experiences, but mine has been great thus far filled with plenty of memories and friends. Orientation is a way to introduce college and get to know the campus. First-years mainly stick together, however, it is possible to become friends with upper classmen depending on dorms, classmates and activities you do.”
“It’s definitely a lot more work. The experience is entirely up to the student, so you have to put the effort in order to succeed. You have to be mature. I feel like it is really hard to get to know upperclassmen. The freshman all kind of stick together because everyone has that 'I’m new here' mentality. But some classes are composed of older kids, so it really depends on your experiences.”"I think that being a freshman on campus was easy because I lived in amazing dorm where all my new friends were just down the hall from me. That was so amazing because if I ever felt homesick, sad or stressed, it was so easy and conveinent to talk to a friend! I think the only reason I got to know the upperclassmen was because I joined a sorority that really valued relationships throughout the sorority, not just exclusive to one pledge class. Because all the age groups like to congregate at the sorority house for meals, or just to hang out, it was easy to get to the know the upperclassmen."
All About Academics
“I like to find an empty classroom to study in! There's no distractions and a blank chalkboard makes for great scratch paper.”
“I tend to study a lot at my sorority since we have a study room, but I also like to study at BIF (the Business School) because I can always find a spot and they have Espresso Royale.”
"Workload depends on your major. Students are assigned to a counselor based on major and last name that helps them through the process. Course registration is based on year in school, then major, which can be a hassle. As an accounting major, it is difficult to get into the classes I want with the professors I want because there's a lot of us taking the same classes. On the other hand, gen-eds are easy to fulfill."
"It's easier to get into classes as you get older. As a junior and senior, I had no problems getting into the classes I wanted, but as a underclassmen I needed upperclassmen to hold my spot."
"You can choose to write a thesis as a senior, but semester-long projects are not a novelty at U of I. They like to get you used to working in groups. The most interesting semester-long project I had was for Social Psychology lab where we got to create and run your own experiment."
"The UGL is always packed, especially on Sundays and Mondays. I'm not a big library-person, but I absolutely love studying in the basement of the Communications library. It's a lot for group projects, so it's more laid-back and inviting."
Learn from the Best
“Professor E. Follis helped me get my career on track and figure out what I wanted to do with my life.”
"I think that it is super important to take advantage of office hours. The teachers will often say that not many people use them, but they wish more students would. Some teachers even say just to stop by to say hello. It's an easy way to get to know your teachers, better understand the material and maybe even square away a letter of recommendation for graduate schools or job applications."
"Professor Ellen Fireman is one of the most well-known teachers on campus. She teaches Statistics 100, which fulfills a general education requirement, so many people take that course. She makes class fun and relatable."
"ATMS 120 is one of the most popular classes at the U of I. It fulfills a gen-ed requirement and the teacher, Eric Snodgrass, makes all the difference. Not only does he play music like 'Cyclone,' but we learn useful information about severe and hazerdous storms that are essential when dealing with the unpredictable Illinois weather!"
"Each professor and class is different. You can use websites like www.ratemyprofessor.com to help you gage what each teacher is like. It is a great tool when it comes to registering for classes."
Interests & Involvement
"I believe that a lot of people who go to U of I are involved in clubs and extracurriculars because there are so many options to choose from. What I have noticed is that many people who are involved in activities are involved in ones that will help them professionally. There are business fraternities, Best Buddies, The American Advertising Federation and many more that people can just join by attending meetings. Others people can join through applications and interviews, which is a great opportunity to prepare for job interviews. Also, from my own experience of being involved on campus, you really get out of it what you give in. It is more than attending meetings on campus, it is about becoming invested because you love what you are involved with."
"Many people join Greek life here at the U of I. U of I has one of the largest Greek systems, roughly 20% of students are Greek-affiliated."
"Here clubs are called RSOs, or Registered Service Organizations. There is a website you can check out to see all of them, and if there isn't one for your interest, then you can start your own! I hear that it requires a lot of prep work and recruiting, but it pays off in the end. You can even put it on your resume!"
"The reason I joined clubs was to get to know other people outside of my sorority. It is super easy to get in a ritual of only hanging out with the people you live with, your "sisters." So, I went to Quad day and signed up to be on the list-serv for a bunch of different clubs. As the semester went on, I figured out which ones I wanted to commit myself to and got involved from there."
"Acapella groups are very well-known here. Groups like The Other Guys and The Girls Next Door have auditions every year, sometimes even twice a year. They can perform for other RSO events, outside events and even have their own concerts. If you love singing there is definitely opportunity for that here!"
“In addition to exclusive membership benefits such as free season basketball tickets to all of the Fighting Illini games, me and my friends love Orange Krush because you’re admitted by raising money for great causes. The Orange Krush section is so much fun, everyone is decked out in orange and blue– and we’re considered the most intimidating student section in the country!”
“Coming to Illinois as a second-generation, I knew I had to be a part of Block-I. Having gone to the games growing up, I always wanted to be a part of that wild north endzone of the football games. Not only is Block-I the oldest and most prestigious student cheering sections in the nation, but we’re known for our entertaining halftime card stunts! We make different pictures based on the occasion.”
"School spirit is really what you make of it. I know some people who go to every football and basketball game and others who haven't gone to a single one during their entire college career."
"Although I’ve never been much of an athlete, I found intramural volleyball as a freshman when I was looking for a fun way to meet people. There’s basketball, soccer, water polo and softball teams and a couple other ones, too! The teams and games can get competitive, but there’s also a lot of room for fun. There’s no qualification to join a team!”
"Our woman's vollyeball team is actually pretty good. Games are at Huff Hall, which is newly renovated. The great part about it is that student tickets are only $4 a game!"
"As a freshman I joined the Harassing Illini. They are the fan section for the hockey team. They all hang out before the game and then go and hassle the other team! If you love hockey, then this is the group for you."
“Being a woman on campus is just like being a woman in the town where I grew up. I feel like I am treated just as equally as men. I live in a sorority, and it's nice being constantly surrounded by other women.”
“I think that being a woman on campus is empowering! Higher education is something special, so when I see other motivated and determined women on campus I feel proud."
“Girls wear a variety of things around campus. I would say a popular choice during the daytime for women are leggings, sweaters and big comfy scarves. As a woman, I like to look presentable, fashion forward but remain comfy, too! When women go out, women wear clothing that really express their own personal style. I love to see what other girls wear day and night, it inspires me."
“I have never really taken great thought into the gender ratio on campus, except in terms of certain academic fields. My twin sister is an engineer, which is a field completely dominated by men. She has used this to her advantage to make herself unique and stand out! I think that if women feel they are a minority in any situation, they can turn it around and use it to their advantage."
“I think that there are a lot of organizations and resources designed specifically for women on this campus. Panhellenic is a huge, national organization that hosts women from all different Greek chapters. Panhellenic motivates, inspires, and brings women together! I am apart of the Panhellenic community now and am very proud to represent an organization that really prides women."
Food & Drink
“U of I has Green Street, which is a main street where majority of on campus restaurants are located. Green Street has a variety of food options from Pizza Hut, Noodles & Company, Chipotle and Wendy’s to Wingin’ Out. No matter what, Green Street always has you covered. It’s really nice to have a one street destination for all your daily cravings."
“Connected to my dorm is I-57, which is similar to a convenience store filled with snacks and entrees like buffalo chicken sandwiches, fries, mozzarella sticks and shrimp. Every morning before class I am able to grab something quickly and be on my way. It’s just so perfect when you’re on-the-go.”
“U of I has six dining halls throughout campus. Each dining hall has specialty days where the food fits that certain theme. For example, there is Soul Ingredient, Taste of Asia and Cocina Mexicana. My favorite dining hall is the Ikenberry dining hall and the Pennsylvania Avenue dining hall.”
“The dining hall food varies from stir fry, boneless wings, pasta, pizza, taco salad night, chicken tenders and fries. Most people eat at the dining hall when they’re underclassmen then not as much when they’re older because they get apartments.”
"All fraternities and sororities provide meals for their members. If you live in, you are gaurenteed food, and depending on the house you can still eat there even if you don't live in the house. The have meals at certain times of the day and snacks for throughout the day."
Social Scene"People usually go to a friend's place to pregame and then go to the bars on the weekendss. It depends on the timing, but sometimes there are frat parties that people can attend, but the bar scene is what dominates U of I's social culture.""Freshmen typically go to house parties, frat parties or just to older friend's apartments. Sophomores, juniors and seniors typically go to bars. If the person is in Greek life, they can also attend social events for their sorority/fraternity.""Alcohol is very prevalent on campus. There is a big emphasis on drinking any time during the week with bars running different deals like Monday Night Joe's, Wine Night at Cly's or Senior Night at Lion.""Other than going out, you can stay in with some friends and have a movie night or work on getting ahead on your classes for the next week.""I think most people are always looking to meet more people, but at the end of the day, you stick with your friends. The social scene is very inclusive, but your best friends are your best friends.""Bar age is 19, so most people will go to the bars during the week instead of parties. It's pretty easy to get around for the most part unless the weather is bad or it is far away."
“I live in Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall and so far I like it. Some of the benefits of living in the dorms as a freshman is that I have definitely met a lot more people than I would have otherwise. It’s also close to classes. I definitely think it’s smarter to have us live in dorms because even if you think you know someone coming into the college, there’s still a lot more people out there. You meet people left and right. It’s nice to meet and live with people you’ve never met before.”
"There are public and private dorms. Some of the most popular public (university) dorms are all those located in the 6-pack. The 6-pack includes Snyder, Scott, Weston, Hopkins, Garner and Forbes. The most popular private dorm is Bromley or Illini Tower."
"If you want to be gauranteed to live in the 6-pack, you should apply to the living-learning community, Weston. It is right in the middle of all the dorms and closet to the dining hall. All you have to do is apply separately with an essay."
"Many people don't know this, but you can apply to switch dorms half-way through the year if you are really unhappy with your roommate or where you are living. You can also switch out of public housing and into private housing any time during the semester."
Exploring Champaign-Urbana"I love the atmosphere of both downtown Champaign and Urbana. All the little restaurants and cafes remind me of my hometown which is nice when you're away at school."“Downtown Champaign has a really cool feel, different than campus. It's very hip and energetic. I personally love Ko Fusion, it's the best sushi and has really cool and modern feel to it.”“I love downtown Champaign because it's a completely different environment from campus but is still so close. It has great coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants that are all just a walk away.”"I love the local, carefree and friendly atmosphere of down town Champaign. It's a great place to get away from the campus bubble, but it's just a few minutes down the road. The restaurants are delicious and unique, I especially enjoy Guidos eggplant fries"“I love downtown Champaign because of the artsy feel and the absolute best part is the bakery Cream & Flutter where they have macaroons the size of your face!”“Downtown Champaign has a great selection of restaurants but my favorite has to be Destihl. The atmosphere is intimate and the food is delicious. It’s always the place I recommend to my friends and family to try.”
“Champaign is the definition of a true college town with a gorgeous quad and streets full of restaurants and bars. For a college town, the food is delicious. We have every type of food here from dollar sushi nights at Ko Fusion to getting a slice of pizza at Second Story.”
“Being in the middle of cornfields, I couldn’t have a better place to call home. We surprisingly have delicious food, great shopping and an amazing nightlife. It’s such a close-knit community to experience the most important four years of your life.”
HC's Complete College Guide: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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