University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Getting Started Guide

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Use this Getting Started Guide as your 10-step checklist to help you navigate the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s application and admissions processes. Good luck!

PDF Versions Available

The Getting Started guide (pdf) and checklist (pdf) are also available to download. You can also view the full resource list of all links mentioned on this page.

If you need assistance, please contact us via email at, call (217) 300-6704, or visit to find information about our veterans programs.

1. Apply for Admission

Visit the relevant admissions website below and review the admissions requirements and application procedures. You can access the online applications and printable application materials (where applicable) through these sites:

2. Submit ALL Necessary Test Scores and Transcripts

Note: The University of Illinois does not award credit for CLEP tests, but if you believe you deserve credit in a particular subject, you may be able to take departmental placement and proficiency exams at Illinois to receive appropriate credit or placement.

Students are required to submit transcripts for high school or GED test scores and any postsecondary coursework completed. Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the institution where the coursework was taken.

If you believe you have taken military coursework for which Illinois awards credit, be sure to submit a copy of your DD214 and your military transcripts available at the Joint Services Transcript System for Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy or The Air University for the Air Force. Please be mindful that the University of Illinois offers limited credit for ACE accredited military training. Read more on this issue.

  • Undergraduates can submit transcripts electronically as PDFs or through U.S. mail to: Office of Undergraduate Admissions
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    901 West Illinois Street, Suite 103
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • Graduate students must upload their transcripts directly to the online application.

You are required to send standardized test scores if you have less than 30 graded transferable semester hours of college coursework at the time of application: ACT (code 1154) or SAT 1 (code 1836) scores are accepted. We highly recommend you submit test scores if you have 30-59 graded credit hours. Scores must be sent directly from the testing centers to be considered official; they cannot be taken from high school transcripts or student reports.

Send final transcripts to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as soon as final grades are posted. You must send official documentation of all courses/grades submitted, including 12th year/high school by July 15.

3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Finding Scholarships

Your undergraduate application and FAFSA will help determine whether you qualify for federal, state, or institutional financial aid, as well as merit-based scholarships. You are also encouraged to fill out the Scholarship Supplement Form and search the University of Illinois scholarship database for private or independently managed scholarships.

Other helpful scholarship search sites include:

These sites can help you find scholarships based on major, talent, interest, career plans, background, and more. And don’t forget to check with veterans organizations such as the VFW and American Legion.

In addition to VA benefits, Federal, state and institutional student financial aid programs are available to cover your cost of attendance. The first step in determining your eligibility for these programs is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Veterans Education Benefits do not count against your financial aid eligibility.

Apply even if the priority deadline date has passed, as there may still be funds available, and have the FAFSA information sent to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Federal School Code: 001775), if you have not done so already.

Please review the information found throughout the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) website to learn more about the financial aid programs and processes.

Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA)
620 E. John Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am-5 pm
(217) 333-0100 (Phone)
(217) 265-5516 (Fax)
Federal School Code: 001775

4. Claim IDs/Passwords and Check Financial Aid Status

Note: You do not have to accept your offer of admission to set your IDs/passwords and view your award letter. However, you must accept your offer of admission prior to completing all other steps on this checklist.

After you have submitted your FAFSA, a Financial Aid Award Letter will be generated, generally in mid-March, telling you what financial aid you are eligible to receive. Once you receive your Notice of Admission letter, you will be able to access the Electronic Financial Aid Award Letter and other financial aid information online before accepting your offer of admission.

In order to check your financial aid status, you must claim and set your IDs/passwords, such as your NetID and NetID Password, and Enterprise ID and Enterprise ID Password. You will frequently use these to access resources on campus. To claim and set your NetID and NetID password, you need your Admit ID and University Identification Number (UIN) located on the back of your Notice of Admission letter.

5. Accept/Decline Offer of Admission

After you have reviewed your Notice of Admission letter and Electronic Financial Aid Award Letter, you can decide to accept or decline your offer of admission. You will need to accept your offer of admission to complete the next steps of this checklist.

If you have already registered for courses and are now declining your offer, you must contact your college office to have your courses dropped.

6. Apply for Federal and State Veterans Educational Benefits, Tuition Assistance

After accepting your offer of admission, you should begin the multi-step process of applying for veterans educational benefits. Because forms will need to be processed by both the Veterans Administration and the University of Illinois, we recommend you submit your claims as early as possible after you are admitted to the university. Military service members eligible for Tuition Assistance should also apply for those benefits according to the procedures required by your branch of service.

7. Attend Summer Registration

Summer Registration is a one day program where new students will meet with academic advisors and register for fall courses.

  • Take placement exams: The University of Illinois offers both placement exams and proficiency exams to help adjust your academic plans according to your knowledge andbackground. If you are required to take placement exams, they MUST be completed at least two weeks prior to advising and registration appointments.
  • Complete Pre-Registration Homework: Each academic program requires all incoming students to complete pre-registration homework. These MUST be completed at least one week before you attend your registration program.
  • Meet with your academic advisor: Interacting with an academic advisor will help you to develop a suitable educational plan, identify appropriate courses, and assist in identifying a major. Consult with your college to coordinate a meeting with your advisor.
  • Submit health records: Complete and submit the required McKinley Health Center Immunization and Medical History Forms. Domestic students MUST submit the forms by July 1 for Fall, December 1 for Spring, and April 1 for Summer semesters.
  • Request disability-related resources or accommodations: Students with disabilities must contact DRES to request and obtain disability-related assistance at least six weeks prior to the first day of classes in order to allow adequate time to make the necessary accommodation arrangements.

8. Meet with the Veteran Student Support Coordinator and Connect with Other Veterans On Campus

Contact the Veteran Student Support Coordinator to discuss your transition to the university and learn more about campus and local resources. The VSS coordinator is your central point of contact for any veteran-related questions or support needs.

Also, the VSS coordinator can link you to a currently enrolled veteran sponsor (see Vet Connect) to help ease your transition to the university. Joining the Illini Veterans student group will help you meet other Veterans and service members on campus.

Veteran Student Support Services (VSSS)
300 Turner Student Services Building
610 E. John Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am-5 pm
(217) 300-6704 (Phone)
(217) 333-7366 (Fax)

9. Visit UI's Veterans Affairs Certifying Official

Using Post-9/11 GI Bill with a Tuition Waiver

Effective August 1, 2011, any tuition and fee restricted award that you receive (such as the Illinois Veterans Grant) must be used before the tuition and fee portion of Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill) benefits. If you elect to use Chapter 33 benefits in conjunction with a tuition and fee restricted award, the VA will reduce Chapter 33 benefits so the combination of funds does not exceed your tuition and fees charges. The VA Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and books will not be affected.

After registering for classes and applying for your veterans education benefits, visit the Financial Aid office in the Student Services Arcade Building. Bring a copy of your VA letter of eligibility or NOBE and a copy of your DD214, if you have one. Other important restrictions and requirements for use of GI Bill benefits are listed on the following page.

Additional GI Bill Restrictions and Requirements

  • Each semester, you MUST complete a Certification Responsibilities for VA Education Benefits form in order to receive federal VA education benefits without interruption.
  • You MUST be admitted to a degree program to receive payment of benefits.
  • You MUST immediately notify OSFA Veterans’ Services of any changes in your status including but not limited to:
    • Change to your declared major (registered program of study)
    • You choose to receive payments under a different education program
    • You initiate action to withdraw from the University
    • You are called to active duty
  • You MUST report changes to the number of hours of enrollment. The number of hours enrolled determine the level of payment (§ 3-301 Academic Policies and Regulations). Changes in the number of hours of enrollment will be reported to the VA and may affect your eligibility. Students must be enrolled in at least 12 hours in a semester (six hours in the summer term) to receive the maximum benefit payment for VA education programs and Social Security benefits. For programs with terms of other lengths, minimum enrollment hours required is determined proportionately (students are permitted nine months to complete Office of Continuing Education courses; however, the credit hours are used to determine the maximum benefit during one single term).
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill users MUST maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) (38 U.S.C 3034(a) 3323(a), 3684). Failure to maintain SAP may result in suspended payment of Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) education benefits. Get more detailed information.
  • VA education benefits are paid in arrears and may require completing monthly Self Certifications by calling 877-823-2378 or visiting Web Automated Verification of Enrollment (WAVE).
  • Effective August 1, 2011, break pay or interval pay is no longer payable under any VA education program.
  • You may use VA education benefits in conjunction with Title IV financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Do NOT include VA education benefits when reporting income and resources information on this form.

10. Find Housing

After accepting your offer of admission and claiming VA benefits or other financial aid, you will need to find a place to live on or near campus. Adult students at the University of Illinois can opt to live on-campus in University Housing or Private Certified Housing, or off-campus in privately managed apartments and houses in the surrounding communities. The University’s Tenant Union, a service of Student Affairs, offers guidance and information about privately managed properties in the area and also assists in conflict resolutions.

While the university offers a number of resources to help you find the right place, you may also want to contact current student veterans for the inside scoop from your peers either through Vet Connect or the Illini Veterans.

Recommended Next Steps …

Attend Welcome Days

Welcome Days is a campus wide celebration designed to warmly welcome new and returning students to campus. There are several events specifically for new students, such as Convocation, Illinois Sights & Sounds, and Illini Union Service First. At these events you will meet your classmates and begin learning what is expected of you as an Illinois student. You will also have a chance to acquaint yourself with the academic, athletic, and service traditions at Illinois! Welcome Days also offers events for all students like Quad Day, the Campus Rec Block Party, and the Illini Union’s LateNighter that provide new students an opportunity to experience the full campus community. View the details of Welcome Days.

Attend Quad Day

Each August during Welcome Days, the Quad fills for Quad Day, where Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) advertise their clubs all in one location. This is the perfect opportunity to jump-start your involvement on campus.


(Checklist also available as pdf document.)

  • Apply for Admission
  • Submit transcripts/test scores (Mail to: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 901 West Illinois Street, Suite 103, Urbana, IL 61801)
    • High school transcripts / GED test scores
    • ACT/SAT scores (if applicable)
    • Military transcripts
    • College/postsecondary transcripts
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (School Code: 001775)
  • Claim IDs/passwords and check financial aid status
  • Accept/decline Offer of Admission
  • Apply for federal and state veterans educational benefits, tuition assistance
  • Apply for and take placement exams
  • Complete College Registration Homework
  • Attend Summer Registration
  • Meet with academic advisor
  • Submit immunization and medical history forms
  • Request disability-related resources or accommodations
  • Meet with Veteran Student Support Coordinator and connect with other veterans on campus (Location: 300 Turner Student Services Building, 610 E. John Street, Champaign, IL 61820, Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 am-5 pm, Phone: (217) 300-6704)
  • Visit UI's Veterans Affairs Certifying Official (Location: Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA), 620 E. John Street, Champaign, IL 61820, Hours: Monday–Friday 9 am-5 pm, Phone: (217) 333-0100)
  • Find housing (University Housing, Private Certified Housing, Tenant Union)


Admissions and Application

Transcripts and Testing

Financial Aid and Scholarship Searches

Veterans Education Benefits


Disability Resources and Accommodations


Getting Involved