I heard that UIUC gives full rides to all Illinois residents who are National Merit SF... is this true? If not, what kind of students receive the full rides here? I'm interested in studying CS but I'm not sure about how much my family can pay, so a full ride would be very helpful. I have a 2390/36, 3.97 UW, and pretty decent EC's... would I expect a full ride or very good scholarship, and would I have to submit my application early or something like that to have a better shot at the scholarships?
Since you are a very strong applicant, this very well may not apply to you, but in general, UIUC is not generous with merit aid, giving only small awards.
From U of I Admissions: Scholarships Provost Scholarship
Requirements: National Achievement, National Hispanic Scholar finalists, or National Merit Finalists
Amount: Full tuition
Renewable: Yes – four years, provided the recipients maintain a 3.0 GPA
its tough to get $ at U of I. i was first in my class, 35 ACT, tons of extracurriculars and leadership, won a selective high school research internship with the dept of energy and had my sponser write me a letter of rec, made it into the campus honors program (the top 125 students out of 30,000 applicants), and yet the money still only trickled in. here's what i got:
matthews scholarship - $2000 (renewable 4 yrs)
outstanding mechE scholar - $9000 (renewable 4 yrs)
chancellors scholarship (for the honors program) $500 one-time
private scholarship (science award given by donor from high school) - $1000
Nat'l Merit scholarship - $2500 (one-time)
note: the total cost of U of I is estimated at $33,028.00
long story short, if you're looking for merit money, U of I is unfortunately NOT the place to go. (It is a great school though, and I chose it for many other reasons!)
Apply early. There are only 30 spots for the Provost scholarship, and I think most of them fill up during Early Action(I believe the number of National Merit Finalists in IL is something like 600-700, and that's not even including Achievement or Hispanic)- the scholarship provides full tuition- not a full ride, so it should only cover about half your expenses.
If you're going into Engineering, I know that there are a few tiers of scholarships that can help a lot, but they're not given away that freely. Luckily for you, they do seem to be based a bit more heavily on test scores than other scholarships, but I'm sure that there are other factors too, though I suppose you would get one of them. I don't know about other departments.
U of I does give out full rides, but more so on a need basis. I personally know two people who apparently received full rides but I also have many friends who didn't receive anything- the salutatorian of my class barely even got anything but a handful of smaller scholarships.
D is in-state and a URM. 32 ACT and 3.7 GPA from selective public HS. She was also a Natl Achievement Finalist/Scholar (Semifinalist at the time of acceptance) Apply by priority date- no need to apply earlier
I apologize in advance for the incoherent reply - I'm typing this on my iPod and it's almost 2AM here.
3rd in class, URM, 4.0 UW and 4.2 weighted, 34 ACT, and 2210 SAT. Heavily involved in music but no all-state performances, that sort of thing. Drum major, ran our school's first annual middle school math meet, founded our first math club, nothing too groundbreaking.
I got: Engineering Premier Scholarship for $15k, University Achievement Scholarship for $12k, Franklin D. Secor Scholarship for $5k, a few smaller ECE ones, and a $10-12k tuition waiver from being an OOS Chancellor's Scholar, which amounts to... $56k total aid for this first year, most of the scholarships being renewable. I got really lucky =\