University of Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Ranking, Tuition & Admissions Info

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system. Learn about its ranking, financial aid and student life, and get the pros and cons of studying at UIUC.

Is UIUC The School For You?

As its name indicates, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign in central Illinois, about three hours from both Chicago and St. Louis. A respected state university, UIUC offers more than 150 programs of study at the bachelor's level and 100 at the graduate level within 17 colleges and instructional units. Weigh the facts below to find out if UIUC is the school for you.


  • Graduation rate is 24 percentage points higher than the national average
  • Student debt following graduation is $3,685 lower than the national average
  • Ranked Top 20 among Public Schools, Undergraduate Engineering Programs and Accounting Programs by U.S. News & World Report
  • Accepts dual and AP credits


  • Student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1, which is higher than the national average
  • High number of TAs teach classes
  • Total cost (including all school and living expenses) is $10,492 higher (in-state) and $12,067 higher (out-of-state) than the national average

Rankings & School Analysis

Even though the total cost is higher than the national average, compared to other top-tier research universities, the University of Illinois is still an affordable option for in-state students. If you're an Illinois resident, you can expect to pay less than $15,000 a year in tuition, based on figures from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). UIUC is also one of the nation's best schools, according to U.S. News & World Report, which ranked it #13 on its Top Public Schools list in 2012. UIUC has the second highest number of international students for a research institution, according to Open Doors, a publication of the Institute of International Education. For students interested in studying abroad, Open Doors also ranks UIUC in the top 20 institutions with international programs.

In addition to being able to choose from over 4,000 courses every year, as a UIUC student, you'll enjoy one of the largest varieties of degree programs and disciplines in the nation. While UIUC has the traditional departments you'd expect from a national university, it also has more niche options, such as the Institute of Aviation and the Department of Crop Sciences. Furthermore, with 82% of students graduating in 150% of their programs' 'normal time,' according to NCES, UIUC's graduation rate is well above the national average of 58%. Student debt following graduation was about $4,000 less than the national average in 2011, based on figures from the Project on Student Debt.

UIUC is a large school, with more than 32,000 undergraduate and 10,000 graduate students. According to NCES, there are 20 students for each teacher at UIUC, which is higher than at many other research universities, and part-time graduate teaching assistants make up roughly 44% of the instructional faculty.

Getting In & Financial Aid at Urbana-Champaign

If you're applying to UIUC, you'll need to apply directly to a college and major. Selection criteria depend on that school's focus area. For instance, if you want to major in biology, the school will give more weight to your record in science courses. Additionally, certain majors have extra requirements for admission (e.g., prospective art majors have to submit a portfolio for review). Tuition costs vary by school, with the Colleges of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Business; Engineering; and Fine and Applied Arts being among the most expensive.

Like other state schools, UIUC has been affected by tight state and federal education funding. Because of this, UIUC offers less financial aid than other universities, with only 40% of first-year students receiving financial aid from the school, according to NCES; this number does not include government and external scholarships that may be available.

Overall, the university has a 68% acceptance rate, and 37% of admitted students choose to enroll, based on NCES figures. NCES also reports that more prospective UIUC students submit ACT test scores (82%) than SAT scores (24%). Depending on the college, average ACT and SAT scores range from 25-34 and 1170-1430, respectively. While UIUC accepts both paper and online applications, online submissions are preferred.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2013-2014) January 2***
Priority Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013-2014) March 15***
Notification of Acceptance (2013-2014) February***
Application Fee (2011-2012) $50*
Acceptance Rate (2011-2012) 68%**
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $14,960-$19,880 for residents
$29,102-$34,022 for non-residents (varies by school)*
Average Financial Aid Package (No year given) $14,824***
% of Students with Need Met (No year given) 31%***
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $22,975****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 2.5%**

Life at Urbana-Champaign

UIUC has an active student body, with 99% of freshmen and 50% of all students living on campus. There are over 1,000 student organizations and several cultural houses and performing arts centers. The campus has one of the largest Greek systems in the country, with 95 fraternities and sororities. The school's athletics teams, nicknamed the Fighting Illini, compete in Division I of the NCAA. The university also offers over 60 intramural sport clubs for students.

UIUC has a diverse population, with about 13% of students coming from countries other than the U.S., as well as an active study abroad program (roughly 2,000 UIUC students study abroad every year). It also has one of the largest library collections of any public university (over 24 million items) and is famous for having an underground undergraduate library.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Small city**
Student Population (2011) 32,256 undergraduates
12,151 graduate students**
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 55% to 45%**
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 97%**
% of In-State Students (2010) 79%**
% of International Students (2010) 13%**
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 93%**
Campus Housing Available Yes***
% of Students Living on Campus (2011) 50%****
Number of Libraries More than 20*
Extracurricular Activities Over 1,000 student organizations*
Noteworthy Campus is ranked #1 Most 'Disability Friendly' in the U.S. by New Mobility magazine*

Article Sources: *University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, **NCES College Navigator, ***College Board, ****U.S. News.

Contact Info

  • Address: 901 W. Illinois St., Urbana, IL 61801-3445
  • Phone Number: (217) 333-0302