Champaign, IL
Tuition (in-state)
$28,664 ($14,522)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 3183 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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2 College Senior

Parking: Car on Campus – It isn't a wise decision to bring a car your freshman year because parking is very limited and expensive, the bus service is good and takes you to many places.

4 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Quite a Variety – There are many things to do on campus at night, even for those under 21, because they are still able to get into the bars at 18 in Urbana and 19 in Champaign, even if they can't legally drink. There are a variety of bars and clubs within walking distance, some of which are best for getting burgers and beer while watching the game, others are dance clubs, etc. There is a gay bar which is a bit of a walk, but you can always take the bus. There are also a number of options for students who want to avoid the bars, like apartment parties, student organization activities, and events at the Union, such as comedy shows.

5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: We have a brand new gym which is gorgeous, a very nice student union, many many libraries, etc. The campus landscaping is generally well maintained. I absolutely love walking around our campus, especially on the quad.

3 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Like Every Other Small City – Thefts and assaults do occur, just like in every other small city, mostly in the evening and at night. Many good services are available like safe rides, safe walks, crisis lines, etc. Also our police chief sends out emails with descriptions whenever the perpetrator is unknown, so that literally the entire campus is on the lookout for these jerks. I have walked alone at night before and been alright, but I do try to avoid it whenever possible.

4 College Junior

Greek Life: Go Greek! I took a semester to think if I wanted to go Greek or not. I thought I didn't want to at all but when I began hanging out with the members of my house I realized they were who I wanted to associate with and that being Greek is what I wanted. The University of Illinois has the largest Greek system in the country and allows for students to take up extracurricular activities, be more involved, and give back to their communities better than those who decide not to go Greek.

2 College Junior

Campus Dining: Buffet Style – The buffet style eating arrangements offered at the University of Illinois are unhealthy. I worked for the dining services for seven months and although the dining hall is kept sanitary the food is not a healthy diet for the students.

4 College Junior

Academics: The university I attend provides eighteen colleges to choose from with over hundreds of professors and multiple teaching the same courses. This allows you to tailor your course to fit your time or your liked professors better. The College of Business is adequately preparing students for the business world with the workload. It may appear challenging at times but with a steady head individuals can surprise themselves with their capabilities.

2 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Dorm Dining – I was at first impressed with the variety at U of I dorms in terms of dining. We were presented with cuisines from around the world complete with ethnic decorations. Unfortunately I wish that dorm dining included healthy options as a main course, rather than the monotonous side salad bar that you happen to come across after you've passed all the other lines. By this point there is no room on your plate so the salad never gets eaten unless you're aiming for it. The main courses are so rich in saturated fat and refined sugars its a wonder any people maintain a healthy weight while living in the dorms. Health and student life are not inherently separate, they can go together if enough of an effort is made.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Awesome...But Takes a Little Getting Used to at First – U of I is a great school. I met a lot of great people here the first year but it definately takes some getting used to. I came in practically knowing no one and felt extremely alone for the first few months but after you start meeting people and making friends you really get the most out of life here. The friends I have made here are incredible. We share a lot of the same interests and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met. There are numerous opportunites to take advantage of here. For example, we have an organization that will take you to cool places across the country for $300 or less to help volunteer and learn more about social issues and you get to meet cool people at the same time. There is also a sky diving club that offers sky diving trips almost every weekend! The class options are awesome and by talking around and doing some research on your own you learn how to get the most out of the short time that you have at U of I.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: I'de Make the Same Choice Again – I love my school. There's something going on every night - whether it's bars, parties, or study groups. There are places open to study 24/7, and most classes don't have a strict attendance policy. I made great friends here, but you need to really get involved to get a diverse group of friends. Otherwise, you're stuck with who you first found freshmen year.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: After the first year most people choose to live in an apartment with a roommate or two. It's relatively easy to find a place to stay but you really have to start looking ahead of time if you want to find the best place for a good price. Most people sign their leases towards mid-fall and the beginning of winter. There are some exceptions like the Tower at Third, located on Third and John, which offers leases up until the month before the residents move in but it's better to start looking around September/October for a place. The places offered for four people (called quads) are taken up the fastest. Also, it's important to note that if you want a place in quite type of environment you are better off living in Urbana, but if you are more of the party type of person and don't mind noise then Champaign may work best for you. The cost of living isn't too bad but location definately affects price. If you want to live on Green Street, it will be more expensive then living off it. Also if you are looking at specific housing companies be aware of CPM which stands for Campus Property Management, they tend to to have a lot of complaints and don't have the best apartments, but they are known for being cheap and more affordable than a lot of the other places.

3 College Senior

Athletics: School Spirit – Tailgating for things is great - Football games start early, but hockey is the best. Between innings everyone runs to Illini Inn to chug a beer and then has to run back to the ice rink.

1 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Poor Choices – The campus itself is really big and there are lots of good places to live, but they're way too expensive for what their actually worth. Off-campus housing is too far and it's inconvenient to walk in the snow, take the bus, or drive several times a day to classes or meet with friends or study groups. At least, the farther away you go, the price gets much cheaper, but so does the interior of the apartments.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Green Street – There are plenty of restaurants to choose from if you don't want to eat at one of the dining halls. Most of these are located on Green Street and this is where you can find places like Mia Za's which is an Italian place that serves things like pasta and pizza. Next to Za's is Zorba's which has awesome gyros and down the street from that you can find Potbelly's, Chipotle, Noodles & Company, Panera, and much more. There is also a lot of opportunity to order in if you don't feel like walking or taking the bus somewhere to eat and the most popular places to order food from include: Papa John's, Jimmy John's, and Insomnia (they have the best cookies on campus!)

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: I've Learned to Love the Bus – Before coming to school, I never used public transportation. And for the majority of my time at school, I never did. However, when I became a tutor at a local elementary school during my second semester, I found that the bus system was completely necessary to get from point A to point B. It was always on time and the fact that I could use my ID card as a bus card was awesome.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: From My Perspective – I'm not one to go out and eat; I don't have the money. However, from being around campus and around town, I know that there are all sorts of restaurants for all sorts of tastes, so if you're looking for food, UC seems like a great place to be.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Learning to Teach – I've only been at the University of Illinois for two semesters and only one of those semesters was spent within the college of Education. However, in that one semester, I've found that there are all sorts of opportunities to do tutoring ad teachers aide work in schools around the University and I'm really happy that I have so many of these opportunities to see what it's like to teach, and I've already volunteered quite a bit.

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: A Wide Variety for Everyone – Students should have no problem finding another student they're interested in. There is a ton of variety.

4 College Senior

Athletics: Chief Illiniwek – Our school does not have its own mascot, but it did. And the student body still believes it does. That mascot if Chief Illiniwek, and from day one you will notice his presence as banners usually fly from apartment buildings, his face is on clothing apparel all over, and the debate always rages on in school publications. The Fighting Illini are passionate about their sports and their dedication to the Chief is how it shows.

5 College Senior

Diversity: Huge and Accepting – U of I is number one for accepting the most international students. Since its business and engineering schools are top notch, people from around the globe attend. While Greek life is still filled with stereotypical white guys and girls, due to its huge and open acceptance of organizations, there are fraternities and sororities dedicated to various cultures, thanks to the United Greek Council Black Greek Council. There are even bar nights dedicated to this diversity, with Murphy's Thursday night dubbed as "International" night, or more recently to homosexuals as well on the same night. And with nearly 1000 student organizations on campus, there is no chance of not fitting in somewhere.

4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Lax on Cops – Campus Nightlife is pretty much free to do as it pleases. With a 19 and up entrance age to bars, police have a fairly difficult time giving out tickets to underage drinkers. It's still enough of a possibility though that overly anxious students have reason to look out. Greeks are capable of throwing parties as they please, even unregistered. Prime example: Rush season still sees dozens of frat house parties, even though rush is supposed to be "dry". A cop has knocked on a window behind me while I was playing beerpong in a frat, and at the door they simply said: "Please keep it down, you guys got a noise complaint", and then we said "You got it" and they left. Lax.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Campus Housing: Dorms, Houses, and Everything in Between – Illinois has housing of all types. You have dorms spread out around campus, each with their own sterotypes and features (the Six-Pack, compound of 6 dorms located next to the frats, or Bromley Hall, the upscale dorm for Greeks: worst dining hall, but has a pool). Apartments can be cheap, but can lead to off-campus territory. Spend money though, and you'll find yourself in one of the new high-rises, complete with plasma TV, balcony, and pool. Greek life is huge, and the houses are all over the place, or you can choose a house on one side of campus in Urbana, and live in hipster territory.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Facilities: Campus Recreational Centers – The Campus Rec Centers are spread out on campus, giving students easy access to sports and hobbies wherever they live. Whether it ranges from comprehensive workout centers that feature pools, basketball courts, gyms, and even waterslides, to areas that feature sand volleyball courts, hockey rinks, and soccer fields. Recently the ARC (Activities and Recreational Center) opened up, and students spend much of their time attending the 340,000 square foot center that includes rock climbing, 16 basket ball courts, an olympic sized pool, and dozens of break rooms for dancing and racquetball. I just discovered a break room for videogames the other day. With these facilities on campus, there is never a reason to be bored.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Cultural Centers on Campus – I like how there are cultural centers that are aimed for students that that come from different backgrounds from the majority of campus.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Different Types of Greeks – I like the diversity that can be found with greeks on campus. They do many different activities and there is also a united greek council that some universities might not have.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Emily Thiersch
Wilmette, Ill.
View all previous student authors

One might expect some tentative and even negative opinions about any school, but this is truly not the case here at U of I. Students are proud of U of I’s history, proud of is academic accomplishments, proud of the social opportunities it offers, and, most of all, they are proud to be alumni. For so many students to view their choice to come here as an unequivocally good one is a fantastic testament to the University’s strength.

Of course students here have plenty to complain about—the weather, the parking, the Greek social scene, the rural location. But all things considered, the positive points of the U of I experience tipped the scale—the University’s academic excellency, the safety, the social atmosphere, the athletic tradition, the city’s excellent transportation system. Some students admitted that they had a hard time adjusting, that they occasionally wished they had made another decision—but in the end, they were all happy to be here. The most encouraging fact was that so many people mentioned that they were leaving as better people, more knowledgeable, eclectic, and better equipped to navigate through life. University of Illinois students do not just leave with a piece of paper in their hands, they leave with a wealth of experience that is not easily rivaled—and, for in-staters, without enormous debt burdens to face when they graduate.



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