When writing a university of Illinois application essay, you may want to begin by acknowledging that this is one of the most noted and influential university in the country for public research. With its campus location in the east-central part of the state in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign and in the midst of huge cornfield country, UIUC has been ranked number one by the National Science Foundation and has been awarded funding by the Foundation for six years in a row.

A lot of sources rate this university in the world’s top fifty educational institutions and its engineering college has even been rated in the world’s top five in this category.

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Another noteworthy fact for a university of Illinois application essay is this institution’s library, which boasts a collection of more than 24 million items, so it is safe to say it is a powerhouse of knowledge. Additionally, it is something of an oasis for lovers of sport. As one of the founders of BIG (the Big Ten Conference), traditions remain strong at UIUC as shown through its many NCAA teams – 21 teams in fact.

Where its student population is concerned, the average ACT score at UIUC ranges from 27 to 33, with the SAT score average falling somewhere between 1270 and 1480. It can also be said that UIUC is quite selective, accepting around 60% of applicants.

Also, when preparing a university of Illinois application essay, it is important to remember that this university does not accept the common application format. Consequently, you will need to apply separately either by postal mail or via the university’s website.

This additionally means that any Common Application essays you submit will not be read by UIUC and, therefore, essays specific to this school count for much more. Fortunately, PrimeEssays.com is here to provide a host of useful tips to help you write essays for UIUC.

Prompts for Essays of Application for UIUC

Prompt Number One

In youruniversity of Illinois essay of application, explain why you are interested in your chosen major and say how this interest developed in recent times both within the classroom and/or beyond it. You can additionally explain how your chosen major matches the career objectives you have in mind for the future. If your application is aimed at the university’s Division of General Studies, describe your scholarly strengths and interests or your career aims for the future. It is permissible to include any degree programs or other studies you are considering at the present time. (Aim for 300 to 400 words for this prompt)

This essay is the most important and extensive you will be sending to UIUC. Therefore, your primary objective should be to make clear your love for or interest in a particular subject and to explain how this aligns to your future objectives. Focus, too, on showing your admiration for UIUC by mentioning particular aspects of it that you feel you are well suited to.

While there may be a temptation on your part to use this section to just refer to your out-of-school interests and activities, this is not sufficient. Members of an admissions board can see these already so there is no point in just referring to them once again with elaborating further on them. Rather, it is advisable to choose something that is fairly personal to you and then give a more detailed explanation of it.

While it is not a good idea to simply to mention certain classes or extracurricular activities again in an essay of this type, it is acceptable to just mention them briefly since they can help you transition into additional information of a new and/or more meaningful type. “Meaningful” can refer to anything from a serious and detailed discussion about how your passion developed to a description of an amusing moment that occurred during a class or during an outside class activity. The key is to draw attention to a unique aspect of yourself in your response.

Because application essays are more complex for UIUC, it is advisable to tackle it in manageable parts. You should find that if you concentrate on how you structure these shorter parts, your final paper should be more cohesive overall.

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Introductory Section (aim for no more than a 100-word introduction)

Your main goal here is to say what your intended major is, but in a way that feels compelling to readers. Effective methods for “hooking” readers are anecdotes or the use of figurative language although plenty other methods exist too – simply be as creative as possible! This first section also needs to provide enough scope for you to elaborate on in the next section – the main body.

Because introductions are so important for developing these types of essays, we have provided some examples below of effective and ineffective introductory sections together with explanatory notes.

Effective Examples

  • “The time for work has come. When they opened their textbook, my peers saw a lot of nonsensical symbols, but to me, these symbols were enchanting as they encouraged me to join their dance. Graceful and self-satisfied, their movements drew me into a wonderful tango. The secrets of the world are held within these mystical symbols. This class turned out to be fateful since it made me come to love math …”
  • Why this is good: Although it is a bit cheesy, this writer uses flair to introduce his or her passion for math. The image of “symbols of enchantment” is used in the context of the particular moment thewriter discovered their passion and the reader is likely to find the moment of enlightenment intriguing. A skillful writer could then elaborate on this compelling opening in their essay’s main body.
  • “The season of skeletons was coming to an end. The surrounded me on my final day at the medical clinic, urging me not to leave. I just knew I would come back some day. The skeletons enjoyed my touching of them, my care, and my analyzing of them. They craved my undivided attention but a whole eight weeks passed before I realized I craved theirs just as much
  • Why this is good: Although you might think it a bit creepy or even obsessive, the writer’s love of analyzing bones definitely comes through. The writer here has still to mention his or her major but these are the building blocks for a superb essay. They have one of two choices going forward: either they can focus on their startling enlightenment as what seems to be a holiday internship comes to an end or discuss the continuing process in more detail. Either option would work.

Body Section (maximum of 250 words)

The aim in the essay’s body is to elaborate further on any involvement you have had with regards to your chosen major. Mentioning classes and extracurricular activities in the body is acceptable provided you explain how you have been impacted by these. Think about adding details about the plans you have with regards to your future career if this is not already covered in your introductory section.

Your essay’s body need not be as flamboyant as its introductory section but it does need to have more purpose. You may not want to spend as much time in this part on developing an extendable metaphor, but instead just explain how your past experience with a specific subject or field provided the inspiration for you to want to continue pursuing it.

The Concluding Section

The concluding section for this type of essay has no specific length since this can vary according to the number of words used already and whether your introduction and body need any further closure.

If space permits, you may want to mention particular programs, clubs or organizations that would fit well with your chosen major. You may also want to go into more detail about your longer-term career objectives. If a UIUC program strikes you as a good match for your career goals, e.g., an internship funded by the school, the conclusion is an excellent place to mention it.

Aside from that, your concluding section should just bring your essay’s central idea to a close by discussing the interests you already mentioned in a general way. Try not to be overly repetitive; a brief, straight-to-the-point summary is best. If your essay started with a theme, you should refer to this again in your concluding section. Your essay’s final sentence should be sufficiently powerful that it leaves readers with a strong impression of you. You want your application essay to stick in the memories of an admissions committee.

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Prompt Number Two

In the event your college application indicates a second major over and above the one for the Division of General Studies, you will have to write another essay that explains why you are also interested in this subject (allow between 300 and 400 words).

This essay prompt bears a lot of similarity to the first one so your approach to it can be much the same. You may feel tempted place less focus on your second essay but do not gloss over it because it is not your first choice of major. Members of an admissions committee will notice if you have become lazy.

In every other respect, pay attention to our recommendations for your first-choice essay. If you use examples, do not forget to give sufficient insight into each one and be succinct in order to be able to include as much information as you possibly can.

Prompt Number Three

Use the space allowed for describing any impacts you have had in your local community or high school and what you expect to contribute to the community at UIUC. (Aim for a 100-word response).

By now, you should have a good idea how to write university of Illinois essay and, with only 100 words to play with, you will need to be concise. This does not allow sufficient room for a long introduction so your best option is to get straight in. Structuring your response, as two small paragraphs would seem prudent – one devoted to your endeavors at high school and the second focusing on how you see your time at UIUC.

With regards to how you break down the word count, we suggest you devote more words to discussing your experiences at high school. This approach is fine particularly if there is a lot of material to cover.

When speaking about your high school years and how you made a difference, avoid discussing positions you held or organizations you participated in exclusively. Focus instead of particular actions you took. It is permissible to begin with “As head of class, I…” but you should primarily focus on specific responsibilities and duties.

The following are a few examples of good content:

  1. “I raised more than $3,500 tohelp end global hunger.”
  2. “I acted as mentor to students with special needs students on Saturdays.”
  3. “I arranged a protest against a policy that would have left our school without adequate sports funding.”
  4. “I taught science and math to middle school students.”
  5. “I began a class initiative that anonymously complimented deserving students.”

A brief explanation (one sentence maximum) may be needed if an activity is fairly obscure, but most actions/activities should be self-explanatory.

For the part concerning your contribution(s) as a student of UIUC, you may want to devote more time to this if you are not too involved in serving your community while at high school. If your aim is to do similar sorts of things on joining UIUC, this is an excellent chance to mention that intention. Take, for example, your initiative of anonymously complimenting people -you may want to discuss briefly how you could alleviate college stress by being the purveyor of joy to fellow students. In an ideal situation, you should be able to relate previous experiences to future objectives, which would help you transition smoothly from the first to the second paragraph.

This second part is a great chance to showcase your excellent knowledge of the specific programs offered by UIUC. Check out the university’s website to get information about its different initiatives and groups.

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A Few Last Words

Although it has been mentionedalready, it is sufficiently important to repeat. These essays are the only ones that will be seen by UIUC. Therefore, there is an enormous onus on you to show you are unique and personable while showing you are a competent writing and have a strong academic commitment.

At times, the experts at PrimeEssays.com suggest riskier application essays but these should be avoided in the case of UIUC. The reason is that you will not be coupling these essays with a common application essay that would generally be more carefully grounded and focused on who you are.

Most importantly, make sure your essays are truly a reflection of you. Do not try to use overly elevated language if that is not how you normally write. If you are unsure whether your voice is coming across, ask a family member or friend to read over your essays; they often have invaluable advice.

University of Illinois Application Essay Sample

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