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Allyson Evans

University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign: The SAT Scores, ACT Scores, and GPA You Need to Get In

How to get into University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign - Magoosh

Want to join the Fighting Illini? Who wouldn’t? With a beautiful campus located only a few hours from Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a great school with a lot to offer.

Did you know that:

  • The University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign was recently ranked 13th for best public university in the U.S, with the 6th best engineering program.
  • The student to faculty ratio is 20:1, and 40% of classes have twenty students or less.
  • Among the alumni and faculty, there are 25 Nobel Prize winners and 28 Pulitzer Prize winners.

In addition to these impressive stats, the University of Illinois also places great importance on the student experience. All freshman are required to live on campus, which helps foster a collegial environment and makes it easier for students to transition to life on campus. There’s also a lot of love for all things sports, so get ready to cheer at football, volleyball, basketball games and more!

Now that you’re even more excited to join the Fighting Illini, let’s look at what it takes to get accepted to the University of Illinois.

University of Illinois Admissions Data

While the admissions committee at the University of Illinois takes a holistic approach when reviewing candidates, there are still average GPA and test scores for admitted students. Here’s a snapshot of some key University of Illinois admissions stats:

Number of Applications37,000
Number of Admitted Students22,000
Acceptance Rate62%
GPA3.38 - 3.90
In State Tuition (2018-2019)$16,000
Out of State Tuition (2018 - 2019)$32,500
Application DeadlineJanuary 5
Early ActionNovember 1
Honors & Scholarship NotificationApril 1

*Starting in Fall 2019, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign will be offering free tuition to in-state students whose family income is $61,000 or below.

Let’s take a closer look at the GPA requirements for incoming freshman.

University of Illinois GPA

The GPA range provided above is based on an unweighted 4.0 scale, so be sure to keep that in mind when considering your GPA and your chances. While it’s helpful to know that the GPA range is between 3.38 and 3.90, this doesn’t mean that if your GPA is below a 3.38 you can’t get in the University of Illinois. These numbers represent the middle range, which means that 25% of admitted students have a GPA below a 3.38.

It’s also worth pointing out that GPA minimums vary by major, so your GPA might be competitive for the major that you want to apply to. For example, the GPA range for the College of Fine and Applied Arts starts at 3.15, and the College of Media’s range starts at 3.18.

Don’t know your GPA? You can calculate it here and see how you competitive you are!

University of Illinois ACT and SAT Scores

While test scores aren’t everything, they are an important part of your University of Illinois application. Here’s a quick overview of the University of Illinois SAT scores and ACT scores to help you see where you stand.

SAT Scores 
Median SAT Score
25th - 75th percentile range
1270-1480
ACT Scores
Median ACT Score 25th-75th percentile range27-33

At the University of Illinois, students apply to the particular major that they want to study, so you should review the average SAT and ACT scores for your major to see how competitive you’ll be.

If your scores aren’t quite as high as you would like them to be, don’t be discouraged. There is more to your application, and the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign is looking for more than just test scores.

University of Illinois Freshman Profile

Who exactly are the Fighting Illini? The incoming freshman class of 2022 is the most diverse student group to date, and 22% are first-generation college students. While the number of students of students from other countries is lower than in past years, the number of countries represented increased from 31 to 36.

Now that you have a sense of the incoming students, let’s take a further look at the other parts of your application to see how you can impress the University of Illinois admissions committee and be one of the incoming freshmen soon!

How to Get Into the University of Illinois

The University of Illinois admissions committee is dedicated to taking a comprehensive view of applicants. They look not only at test scores, but also at the difficulty of classes taken in high school, extracurriculars, and any honors or awards received.

Make sure you’ve taken the required coursework. The school recommends four years in all of the following subjects (and taking the most advanced classes available), but requires a minimum of the following:

  • English: 4 years
  • Math: 3-3.5 years
  • Social sciences: 2 years
  • Lab sciences: 2 years
  • Foreign language: 2 years
  • Electives: 2 years

When you apply to U of I, you will apply directly to the major you are interested in studying. This means that the admissions committee will be looking to see if you are prepared for a particular course of study. So, if you still have time, be sure to take the most advanced classes in the area of study that most interests you. You can also apply for your second choice major to increase your chances of admission.

Along with solid test scores, you’ll want to make sure that you have a strong, well-rounded application to be competitive. Here is a quick and comprehensive list of what you need to apply:

  • Official results of your ACT or SAT, and Advanced Placement Scores
  • Official high school transcripts or record of academic achievement in secondary school
  • Response to the essay question
  • Indication of your desired major and an alternative program*
  • A $50 application fee

*Depending on the major you apply to, you may have additional application requirements. For example, students interested in Dance, Music, or Theater are required to audition or interview. Review the admission requirements for each major carefully to ensure you submit everything you need to.

Final word of advice: make sure that each part of your application is as strong as it can be. Take time to carefully craft your essays to demonstrate what makes you unique and the perfect fit for the University of Illinois.

Since the University of Illinois accepts students for particular majors, make sure your application demonstrates your passion for that area of study. Show how your coursework and extracurricular activities have strengthened your passion for that academic field and how they will help you be successful.

University of Illinois FAQ

Does the University of Illinois require teacher recommendations?
Nope! In fact, UI doesn’t even accept them. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t need recommendations for other applications, so definitely ask teachers early!

Does the University of Illinois require the SAT essay?
Good news! The University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign admissions does not require the SAT essay (or the ACT essay, for that matter). Be careful, though—if you’re applying to other universities, they may require it, and you don’t want to have to take the exam twice just for that reason!

How many undergraduates get to participate in research?
Research is a top priority at the University of Illinois, and 68% of undergraduates are able to assist with this important research.

How many students are from out of state?
The University of Illinois welcomes out-of-state students. These students make up 26% of undergraduate students.

What GPA do I need to be able to transfer?
In general, at least a 3.0 GPA is needed to transfer, but there are some majors that accept lower GPAs. For example, the School of Social Work and the School of Education accept students with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

The Takeaway

The University of Illinois is one of the top-ranked public universities in the country. With a diverse student body, and a strong sense of community and school spirit, it’s no surprise that so many students want to attend this great university. Make sure you are competitive by getting the best SAT or ACT score that you can.

From all of us here at Magoosh, good luck getting into your dream school!

Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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About Allyson Evans

Allyson earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her JD from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been teaching and tutoring the LSAT since 2007, and loves helping students achieve their goals. She currently practices law in Austin, Texas. When she’s not helping students conquer the LSAT, she enjoys traveling, camping, and listening to live music.


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