University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
| Staff Writers
Find the information you need to find, get into, pay for, and thrive in the best college for you.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the largest public college in the state and the main campus in the University of Illinois system. It goes by a number of different names, but most students, alumni and fans simply refer to it as Illinois.
Founded in 1867 as the Illinois Industrial University, it originally provided students with a strong background in mechanical and industrial topics, which helped those students find jobs in the changing economy of the times. Its first name change occurred in the 1880s after the university changed its curriculum to include courses in other fields. Known as the University of Illinois for nearly a century, it changed to its current name after other colleges in the system opened across the state.
U.S. News & World Report called Illinois one of the more selective colleges in the country. Though it is a public university, it admits fewer than 70% of those who apply. The same publication also ranked Illinois as the country’s 41st best college and as the 11th best public college in the nation. Other publications that ranked Illinois on a national level include Forbes, Washington Monthly and ARWU. QS, Times and U.S. News & World Report ranked Illinois within the 60 colleges on a global scale, and AWRU ranked it within the top 30 of all colleges in the world today. The university also has a strong reputation for its research-intensive programs, including those in technology and psychology.
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Accreditation Details
Illinois is a regionally accredited college, which means that you can file the FAFSA to obtain financial assistance from the federal government. This also means that it’s easier to transfer credits that you earn on other accredited campuses to this university. Its regional accreditation comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). As NCACS requires that the university renew its accreditation every 10 years, you’ll feel confident in applying here. Another benefit to attending Illinois is that it has accreditation from 15 different organization for its degree programs. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited its business program, and the Planning Accreditation Board accredited its undergraduate program in urban planning. Other accreditation comes from:
National Association of Schools of Theatre
Council on Rehabilitation Education
National Association of Schools of Music
Council on Education for Public Health
National Association of Schools of Dance
American Veterinary Medical Association
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
American Psychological Association
American Bar Association
Council on Social Work Education Office of Social work Accreditation
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Application Requirements
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign knows that students are more than just a test score, which is why its admissions board looks at a number of different factors. All prospective students must submit a transcript that shows they took a college prep curriculum in high school that included four years of English, three to four years of math, two to four years of life and social sciences and at least two years of foreign language courses. The university also weighs your application based on the extracurricular activities you participated in, what activities you did outside of school, your test scores and your grade point average.
When you fill out the online application, you have the chance to talk about your background and why you selected Illinois. The application asks for your name, address, high school attended and parents’ names, but it will also ask about your activities and grades. If you cannot afford to pay the $50 application fee, your school guidance counselor can apply for a fee waiver on your behalf. You will then submit your transcript and test scores. Students applying for a spot in one of the performing arts programs may need to schedule an audition with the university too.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The estimated cost of attending Illinois is around $30,000 a year for in-state residents. This includes $15,000 for your tuition and fees, $11,000 for room and board and all the expenses and supplies you need. Living off-campus, changing the residence hall where you live, opting for a different meal plan or taking more classes each semester will increase your overall costs. Tuition and fees for students who live outside of Illinois increases to more than $30,000 a year and brings their total costs up to more than $46,000 a year.
No matter where you live before you enroll, you can still apply for financial aid. Filing the FAFSA is your first step. More than 50% of Illinois students receive financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships, and more than 40% qualify for loans too. The university will use your responses on the FAFSA to determine what you will get in your financial aid package and then mail a letter to your home. You can also check with Illinois directly to find out what you need to do to apply for need-based or merit-based scholarships. Students who need more help can also take part in the campus’s work-study program.
Studying Counseling and Psychology
Illinois is one of the only public universities that lets undergrads pick a concentration when majoring in psychology. Those concentrations include behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, clinical and community psychology, developmental psychology, organizational psychology, social and personality psychology and general psychology. You need to maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain in the program and complete all general education requirements. The university asks that students take basic or general psychology courses and then take up to 36 credits of classes within their concentrations. Introduction to psychology, introduction to experimental psychology and introduction to statistics are just a few of the classes that all psych students take.
The university offers both an MA and an MS degree in psychology as well as a PhD in psychology. Before enrolling in those programs, you must complete a degree in psychology or a related field at an accredited college and take a standardized test like the GRE. The counseling psychology program offered by the university if available through its College of Education. This is a PhD program that typically takes a little over six years to finish. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign requires that these PhD students do at least two internship placements, but the program prepares them for obtaining an Illinois counseling license.
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