Champaign, IL
Tuition (in-state)
$28,664 ($14,522)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Athletics: If you are looking for a college where athletics are equally or more important than academics, this University has it.

4 College Senior

Athletics: Athletics are very big at U of I. As seen from the RSO Illini Pride, there is a student section for every sport. The better the team does, the more students attend

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: I'm a huge fan of the sports at this school, however, lately their performance is not very good. However, the town the University is located is called a "college-town" so the whole town is huge Illini fans. Thus, there is still a good turn out for Varsity sports.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: While most of our varsity teams are not the greatest, there is still a huge amount of student involvement and pride involved in them. Games are always fun and there are many traditions that make going to games a unique experience. Many students make use of the recreation facilities but I don't think many students are involved with club sports.

5 College Senior

Athletics: For intramurals, there are always plenty of people that are involved. There is also a great variety which is great because it lets students be involved and active during the academic year. All of the varsity sports on campus are greatly supported, there are always fans who are cheering the players on. Not to mention, students join together to cheer for teams as they wear orange t-shirts and cheer throughout games.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 34th
    Most Active Varsity Sports
  • 644th
    Best Intramural Sports

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Emily Thiersch
Wilmette, Ill.
View all previous student authors

Athletics at U of I are big, and people take sports very seriously. Whether they are spectators or participants in the game, nearly everyone on campus is interested in the outcome of the varsity sports teams. As far as basketball and football are concerned, you’ll find more students buzzing over those games than you will any other sport on campus. But this is a Division I school, so that’s expected. Intramural and club sports are also really big on campus, and they are a great way to meet people and have fun. The underwater hockey team, especially, is legendary for its crazy games. Even if you are not the best athlete you can surely find some sport that interests you through intramurals and clubs.

The gyms and playing fields are also big on campus, and some people say that they consider ARC one of their favorite hangouts. Of course, the real event here is football. People come to the games religiously, rain or snow. The Block I section is for the most dedicated fans. There, students dress in all orange and blue and hold signs to cheer on their team. The Illinettes also turn out for all the home games, and so it’s like a midday party. Even people who aren't that interested in football come out for the party atmosphere and school spirit. If you’re not a sports fan when you come to U of I, don’t be surprised if you graduate with a foam finger on your hand.


Facts & Statistics

Athletic Association
Athletic Division
NCAA Division I-A
Athletic Conferences
Football: Big Ten Conference
Basketball: Big Ten Conference
School Colors
Orange and blue
School Nickname
Men Playing Varsity Sports
305 - 2%
Women Playing Varsity Sports
203 - 1%
Students Receiving Athletic Financial Aid
Football: 85
Basketball: 28
Baseball: 24
Cross Country/Track: 49
Other Sports: 169
Graduation Rates of Athletic Financial Aid Recipients
Football: 60%
Basketball: 57%
Baseball: 44%
Cross Country/Track: 40%
Other Sports: 76%
Men's Varsity Sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Wrestling
Women's Varsity Sports
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and diving
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
Club Sports
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Competitive Cheerleading
  • Dance team
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial arts
  • Powerlifting
  • Racquetball
  • Roller hockey
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball (fast pitch)
  • Synchronized ice skating
  • Synchronized swimming
  • Table tennis
  • Trap and skeet
  • Triathlon
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Underwater hockey
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Broomball
  • Flag football
  • Ice hockey
  • Kickball
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
Athletic Fields & Facilities
  • Activities and Recreation Center (ARC)
  • Arboretum
  • ARC Pool
  • Armory
  • Assembly Hall
  • Atkins Tennis Center
  • Campus Recreation Center East (CRCE)
  • Complex Fields
  • Eichelberger Field
  • Freer Hall Pool
  • Golf Facilities
  • H.E. Kenney Gym
  • Huff Hall
  • Ice arena
  • Illini Grove
  • Illinois Field
  • Illinois Track & Soccer Stadium
  • Irwin Indoor Facility
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Outdoor Center Fields
  • Residence hall gyms
  • Ubben Basketball Complex
Most Popular Sports
There is a lot of interest in sports,especially football and basketball. The fate of these two teams is taken personally by students and community residents alike, and everyone goes to the games to support them and cheer them on, regardless of the weather.
Most Overlooked Teams
The women's tennis team has done very well in the past, however, the women tend to get overshadowed by the men's tennis team.
School Spirit
School spirit comes and goes in spurts. Everyone is very loyal during the first few weeks of the school year because they are all glad to be back and in good sprits. Then the winter wind starts blowing and none of us can figure out why we came to school here in the first place. When there is any work to be done, people are usually frustrated with being at college, but once the weekend starts, people don't really seem to mind. On the whole, though, everyone is usually happy with their college decision, and everyone always turns out to support the football team, no matter what the weather. If that isn't school spirit, then I don't know what is. Illini or bust.
Getting Tickets
It is usually easy to get tickets for sporting events, as long as it is not a big game. There is generally a good turnout, especially at the football and basketball games. Money is not an issue either, as you can get a good price with your student ID.
Best Place to Take a Walk
Allerton Park, Arboretum, or Japan House Gardens

Student Polls

How would you describe the athletic facilities?    Based on 191 responses

  • 4% The athletic facilities are relatively subpar for the demands.
  • 4% The athletic facilities are good for athletes, but only mediocre for the average students.
  • 53% Sports are important, and the quality of facilities shows that-for both athletes and non-athletes.
  • 38% The athletic facilities are some of the best in the country.

How popular are intramurals and club sports?    Based on 190 responses

  • 1% Almost no one participates in them.
  • 31% Some people participate in them, but they aren't a big part of campus life.
  • 48% They are overshadowed by varsity sports, but still a big part of campus life.
  • 21% They are just as popular as varsity sports (or even more so).

How popular are varsity sports on campus?    Based on 193 responses

  • 0% No one pays attention to varsity sports.
  • 13% Varsity sporting events are attended, but not a huge part of campus life.
  • 71% Varsity sports are a big part of campus life.
  • 16% Almost everything on campus revolves around them.



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