7 Tips for Applying to Illinois

My name is Brian Hodges. I’m the assistant director in the Admissions Office And my name is Amber Longtin. I’m a coordinator here Okay. Our Facebook live is going to be about the top seven things you should know when you apply to campus We’re going to go through that entire list Number one on that list is, when you apply, you’re going to do a self reported academic record So you’re going to report all the grades that you receive during your high school career, and courses you are taking, in progress. Make sure you have an unofficial copy. That’s a paper copy or an electronic copy available. We will check and see are those grades accurate, so make sure you have that transcript handy when you submit your application Yeah. We know that the self-reported can take awhile So, I think that we apologize up front. If it makes you feel better, both of us test the application during the summer We’ve had to fill it out, too. My best advice is to have some snacks Do you have any nice tips for that section? It’s going to take some time, be patient Don’t get frustrated. It’s your time, put all the information you can in there It’s gonna help you with your application So make sure it’s accurate. Take some time. Be patient. Have some snacks It’s gonna take a little while And if you are an international student, and you might be applying using some external, exam-based system there is a separate area for that. But that’s part of why we ask you to apply early Because there are a lot of different systems and types of high schools, and ways your grades can be reported And since it can get complicated, if you start applying early, there’s a lot of time to ask Brian and I questions Exactly So our second tip is still related kind of to doing things early It’s about sending your test scores So, all freshman applicants have to submit either the ACT or the SAT to apply to Illinois When you ask for those test scores to come, it’s not automatic Can you believe it? It does take some time. So make sure you submit those test scores early It usually takes us about two, three— —two, three weeks, yeah to get to our office And then, in addition to making sure you sent them, if your test scores are listed under a different name, if your email address is different in your test score than what it is in the application, or even if it’s just your street address that’s different, sometimes that means it won’t match to your application So if you could give us a heads-up, “hey, I’ve sent my test scores, my application email is this,” but my test scores are gonna be under this email, that’s really helpful because that can help us make sure your test actually matched to the application Yeah, and definitely be patient when you have sent those scores When you actually ask your testing agency to send us those test scores to us, it might take a little time. So please be patient. Like I said it’s going to take a few weeks before we receive those scores So, be patient Lots of patience The next tip, we’ll talk about the essay. Now, each individual school will have their own process. Make sure you answer the prompt when it comes to the essay. Answer exactly what we’re asking for in that essay We’re gonna ask you about why you’re interested in a certain major We’re also gonna ask you what interests, what activities you’ve done to cultivate that interest in that major, so make sure you’re answering the prompt Yeah, I think that our prompt is actually probably pretty easy, for most students, until you read how many words it has to be So University of Illinois is three to four hundred words That’s shorter than most of your homework assignments Which makes it kind of difficult to write Definitely, which is the next step when it comes to proofreading that essay. We want you to be very concise, very specific to your major, to your activities in your field Make sure you proofread it. Make sure you have a counselor proofread it, make sure you have your parent proofread your essay We do want to see what you’ve done in your particular field. But we only ask for three to four hundred words So make sure you’re very precise, but you also have somebody to proofread your essay Yeah, definitely And if you’re not comfortable having someone proofread, I understand. I mean, I don’t think it’s something that you should really be shy about We’re gonna read it. Right But there are also other tools you can use Things like Google translate, you can pop your essay in and have it read it out loud Because when you’re reading something silently, your brain kind of autocorrects the mistakes that you’ve made Which isn’t actually helpful in proofreading Shocking, right? But if you pop it into google translate, it’ll read it out loud to you and you’ll catch some of those mistakes that you made What we also want to see in your essay is the passion for your field So make sure that’s coming through in your essay Tell us why you’re interested in a field Tell us why you chose certain activities, again to cultivate that interest We want to see the passion, and why you’re applying to a specific major to the University of Illinois So the next tip, is one hopefully none of you run across When you fill out the application, sometimes students will accidentally submit their application Because they’re reviewing it, and they want to submit But then your application is final. And final means you can’t edit things You don’t wanna be there. No you don’t. No Make sure you’re completing all the different sections in your application. If you have several We do have several different fields that you have to complete But make sure you don’t submit until you’re ready

A big tip, there are a lot of times students think, “well I didn’t pay the application fee,” it won’t get submitted. And that sounds logical It does sound logical But unfortunately that’s not the case. We accept fee waivers from students We accept applications without a payment, because the fee waiver might be coming in later And if you have a fee waiver, you should be making sure you’re working with your counselor for that But that’s why you can submit the application without paying the fee later Now if you accidentally submit, and maybe you don’t have your card with you, and you go back and pay later, that’s not a problem You can still go back and pay the fee, so you’re application will still be fine But that is kind of the piece where students often think that they didn’t submit it So make sure when you do submit, you always double check and see things that you might have missed, If you haven’t paid the application fee, or you need to change certain things in your application, that are able to change, make sure you review what we have available within the application, which actually goes to our next step After you’ve completed the application, maybe you realize, “Okay, I put in the wrong address,” or maybe “I put in the wrong score here” for a certain class, or maybe “I want to add a second major.” You can actually do that through your myIllini account There are several different change forms you can submit within myIllini One is biographical, one is a course change form, one’s also a program change form So after you submit, there are some things you can change One thing you cannot change is the list of activities Yeah Once you submit that, that’s pretty much it Those are going to be the ones we’re going to see The essay is also in the application. That’s not something you can submit a change form for, so make sure you’re doing your checks before you submit the application, not after Additionally, those change forms in that myIllini account? The myIllini account is super useful Yes it is It’s like the hub for all applicants So even if you don’t apply using myIllini—a lot of our students will apply using the Coalition application, which is absolutely fine too— you’re still going to end up with a myIllini account So no matter which application you use, you can still make these edits through there Another new thing that we actually added this year, you might not know that, we didn’t use to be able to let students add parent email addresses But you can do that now using the biographical change form So, if you’ve submitted your application and your mom’s like, “Hey, I haven’t gotten any emails from Illinois,” or if you’ve been admitted and your parents are asking those types of questions, they can go into the biographical change form and add their email address as well Our next step? You’ve probably heard this already: patience When you submit your application, you’ve done all the things you need to do, you’ve changed some different things in your application, just relax. Be patient Our decision dates are for early action, December 15, and for the regular period, February 2 So nothing is going to happen, you’re not going to find out any more information, until those specific dates So just sit back and relax If you haven’t visited campus, you can come visit our campus, or you can take a deep breath, Again, just relax Go on our different social media pages—YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat—just get more information about the University of Illinois But be patient This is definitely the hardest part of all of the steps Because after you submit an application, you want to know You want to know right away! There are so many things that are instant. Why can’t this be one of them? Brian and I are working very hard along with everybody else in the admissions office to get you a decision But you do have to wait for those deadlines There are, Brian was talking about, lots of ways you can engage with the university while you’re waiting, though We’re writing blogs pretty constantly Yes we are Those are a great way to connect with campus And if you’re looking at things and you have questions, we’re still happy to answer questions for you So we are definitely here in the admissions office We answer emails, we answer phone calls, we are available throughout the day, Monday through Friday So any questions you you might have, please feel free to contact us When we do send out the information as far as being admitted, we’ll send it through your myIllini account So make sure you’re checking that you have the correct password, that you can get into your myIllini account Make sure you have all the information you need so you know when those decision dates come, you can actually check your myIllini account Yeah, the worst moment in the world is when you’re trying to log in to myIllini on December 15 and you can’t remember your password You don’t want that to happen Yeah, and we close our office early on those days, so you can’t call to get it reset No, you can’t You’d just have to wait until Monday, which is a really long wait No one wants to do that So just make sure you’ve got your stuff together before it gets to that point And if you apply through the Coalition application, like we said earlier, you will need to create a myIllini account so you can check your application status So if you haven’t done that already, make sure you create a myIllini account Make sure you have the right password so when those dates come, December 15 and February 2, you can check your application status

I would say it’s even a good idea to check your application status now, just to make sure it’s complete Because occasionally, you’ll think your application’s in and your test scores are there, but for some reason they didn’t match to your file, and you’re not checking your email, or you’re not getting the emails telling you that your application’s not complete So by checking it now, you’re saving yourself a headache later So just keep touching base with that myIllini account. That’s also where you can send us emails, too You just click a link and it will go to the counselor that’s in the office that works with you, which is really nice You don’t have to remember our email address. It’s taken care of for you And then we have one last tip that is really, really important Very important Please remember that although things are going to be really stressful senior year—you’ve got schools to apply to, finals to take— you only get one senior year. Enjoy it! Please enjoy it Yeah, take some time off Don’t get senioritis, but enjoy your senior year No, don’t catch senioritis. We still care about those senior grades! But hang out with your friends. Keep in mind that next year, you might live on a campus that’s not with your family, so maybe next time your brother asks if you want to play video games, you play a couple games! Little things that you will soon be missing, perhaps And if you do have any questions after this Facebook Live post, any questions you might have, you can always contact the admissions office Our email address is admissions@illinois.edu And our office number is 217-333-0302 You’re good! I always forget that number. So it’s also on our website, contact link, and that’s the one I use all the time That’s not so since I’ve been here three years, huh? You should know that! I know Again, thank you for listening to our Facebook Live post. If you guys have any questions, feel free to contact us Again, my name is Brian Hodges I’m Amber Longtin! And thank you for visiting with us Have a great week! Bye