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Reviews 3744 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 College Senior

Local Area: I don't go off campus a lot, but when I have, there is always stuff to do. Chain restaurants and small businesses abound.

2 College Senior

Scholarships: You don't get financial aid as a student unless you fit a very specific set of qualifications. It is fairly easy to get a loan, but the school will not help you. The financial aid office people are nice, though.

4 College Senior

Party Scene: One of the biggest greek systems associated with a university. There will always be parties if you know how to get in.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: There are frequent crime alerts that occur on the fringes of campus. These are usually minor thefts and assaults, but their frequency is concerning and I would feel uncomfortable walking alone around campus late at night.

5 College Junior

Party Scene: Parties are a huge deal on campus and very prevalent. Frat parties occur frequently and are huge affairs; I don't personally know what they are like because I haven't been to any. Once you become an upperclassman and most of your friends are in apartments, apartment parties are a bigger deal, and I prefer them because they are more exclusive and intimate.

4 College Junior

Majors: In my major, Molecular and Cellular Biology, most students join a professor's research laboratory and take part in undergraduate research. Because this is such an enormous research school, there are very many professors in a wide variety of research areas conducting cutting-edge research. Professors are generally approachable and very open to accepting students into their labs. I had a very positive experience joining a molecular biology lab during my sophomore year, and had a truly wonderful postdoctoral mentor. Some labs are more intense than others, and it can be challenging to find a work-life balance between classes, research, friends, and sleep. In the end, I decided to part ways with the lab I was in to explore different research areas. Overall, I think U of I has excellent resources for matching students with potential internships and employers. I know that the college of Engineering in particular has numerous career fairs for different majors and major companies actively recruit students.

4 College Junior

Administration: From what I've seen, enforcement of campus policies is pretty lenient in regards to things like underage drinking, dorm visitations, noise violations, etc. Going out to the bars is a major social activity and so many students partake that it is difficult to control underage access to alcohol. Since this school is so large, there are definitely a lot of behaviors that fall through the cracks of the administration's enforcement policies.

3 College Junior

Local Area: I have a personal connection to Champaign-Urbana because I spent my childhood growing up here. However, there is not a whole lot to do off campus. Champaign has a charming downtown area with some restaurants, club/bars, and shops that are worth checking out. Otherwise, there are some good off campus restaurants and there is, of course, the movie theater. On the whole, however, life is very campus-centric, and there is a bit of a disconnect with the rest of the city.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: I am not involved in Greek life, so I don't have much of an opinion on the topic. I do know that fraternities and sororities have a very large presence on campus. However, you do not have to join or be involved if you don't want to, and there are plenty of other opportunities to be social. There are over 40 fraternities and over 20 sororities, so there is great variation in the size/quality of Greek houses. Frat parties are very large and frequent on campus, but you by no means need to attend in order to have a social life. As I said, I have no involvement with Greek life and have plenty of other social activities that keep me busy.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Scholarships: Since this is a large public institution, it offers very few financial aid options and scholarships. I was able to get a 50% tuition waiver because I am the child of a state employee. Otherwise, I would not have received aid.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: There is a wide variety of apartments available, from cheaper options to completely overpriced luxury apartments. I currently still live on campus, but I have heard many terrible things from friends who are staying in buildings with unaccommodating landlords and strict lease agreements. In general, renting an apartment has added complications and less convenience, so I chose to remain on campus.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: There are many reasonable option if you look hard and early.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: It's really a campus town and downtown Champaign is interesting and adorable.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I enjoy living on campus. It's beautiful during fall. The bus options make it easier for those of us who chose to live at FAR/PAR. The dorms vary (FAR dorms are small). It is very expensive however worth it.

4 College Freshman

Party Scene: I've only gone out a few time but there are many option regardless of whether frat parties, house parties, or bars are your preference.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Administration: There is a lot lenience in terms of alcohol use and visitation. There is also no curfew. Noise level depends on floor but I haven't had any problems

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Mostly fast food restaurants. There isn't much of a hassle to order take out before 3 a.m.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Scholarships: It was straightforward and easily done on the website. I wasn't aware of certain forms that had to be sent in yet my award letter was give quickly. I received all the aid and loans I needed to attend.

1 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There's a lot of variety, but if you're from Chicago (as in the Cook County area) the food is horrible and nothing compared to the food up north. Everything is a bit costly and there's not many deals for students. I would say just stick to the food chain restaurants, but even those are a bit off. People from Champaign don't know what flavor is and don't know how to cook.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Overall Experience: The professors I've had interacted with the students more than I thought they would considering how large a class size can be. Teachers are constantly holding office hours and even set up extra open discussions to go over lessons are questions students might have. Courses here are either really challenging or really easy. I have yet to have an in between class. You will know it's an easy class if a lot of seats are empty except for on exam days. Class sizes can range anywhere from 20 people to over 200 people. But like I said, there are professors who effortlessly interact with all the students in a class with a large class size.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Scholarships: I did not receive my final financial aid package until two days before arriving on campus. I suggest getting your financial aid done as soon as possible and the best way to get in contact with the office is to just go directly to their building because their telephone lines are always busy.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Fraternities and sororities not only throw huge parties, but other events to help raise money and they'll do it in a way that's entertaining such as some type of show.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Athletics: The campus is very involved in the sports scene especially with the football and basketball teams. School spirit is extremely noticeable.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The newer apartments tend to be more expensive especially the ones on Green St. However, there are a lot of apartments that come with a lot of amenities and furniture.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Rooms are extremely small unless you live in a some of the halls in the six pack. Sometimes you'll get claustrophobic. But if you live in the smaller dorms, the way you set up your bed matters.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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Applicant Status At University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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