Yearly Planning

high school girl holding books in a hallway at school

Freshman Year

  1. To let us know you're interested in UIUC, request more info from us.
  2. Talk to your counselor to make sure you're taking challenging classes and are on track to meet our admissions requirements.
  3. Explore different academic interests by getting involved in extracurricular activities that you enjoy. If you're not sure where to start, you can take a quiz to learn which of our majors match your personality type.
  4. Attend summer programs hosted on our campus to learn a whole lot and see what life at UIUC is like.

Sophomore Year

  1. If you haven’t already, let us know you're interested in UIUC by requesting more info.
  2. Talk to your counselor about your college goals and academic interests, making sure your class schedule is demanding and you’re still on track to meet our requirements.
  3. Become more involved with extracurricular activities that relate to your academic interests, taking on leadership positions in the ones you enjoy most.
  4. Sign up for the PSAT/NMSQT. Before taking such tests, you can practice online for free.
  5. In addition to attending UIUC summer programs, look for other great summer opportunities such as volunteer work, an internship, or a job.

Junior Year

  1. If you haven’t already, let us know you're interested in UIUC by requesting more info.
  2. After creating a list of your preferences and strengths, narrow down your academic interests until you have a major or two in mind.
  3. Talk to your counselor about your college goals, making sure you’re still on track to meet our requirements based on your potential major. Discuss taking advantage of any challenging coursework your school offers, like AP or IB classes.
  4. Stay involved in your extracurricular activities, continuing to look for opportunities related to your potential major and leadership positions that involve more time and responsibility.
  5. If you haven’t taken the PSAT/NMSQT yet, sign up to do so. In addition, register and practice for your ACT or SAT tests.
  6. Talk to your family about possible college options. Consider what's important to you (size, affordability, a specific major, research, athletics, distance from home, and so on).

Senior Year

  1. Make a list of 5 to 10 colleges that interest you most, visiting as many of them as possible (including UIUC!) before you apply.
  2. Add our Google calendar to remind yourself of important UIUC dates and deadlines.
  3. Fill out college admissions applications, asking your parents, counselor, or English teacher to review your essays. You can apply to UIUC through myIllini or Common App.
  4. Meet with your counselor to verify the colleges you’ve applied to, and if you're applying with a fee waiver, ask them to submit it online.
  5. Check the status of each of your applications to ensure you've submitted everything. You'll check your UIUC status and decision through myIllini, so create an account if you haven't already.
  6. Apply for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and search for local, state, and national scholarships. If you're an Illinois resident who isn't otherwise eligible for federal financial aid, you can submit the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid.
  7. Rank the colleges you've been admitted to in order of preference and evaluate your options. Make sure to visit your top choice before accepting its offer by May 1!
student working on their laptop on the Quad with a little squirrel buddy

College Prep Resources

We're here to guide you through your college search process. On our blog, you'll find helpful articles on how to choose a major, how to pay for college, ways to narrow your search, and more!

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