FreeApp is designed to increase access to graduate education for students who possess qualities and experiences that enhance the diversity of the intellectual, cultural, and social environments at CIC universities like the University of Illinois. Through this program, prospective students can request a graduate application fee waiver for Ph.D. or master's programs. Applicants participating in the CIC FreeApp must meet the following criteria:
- Be awarded a bachelor's degree by the August preceding enrollment in the graduate program
- Apply for admission to a graduate degree program
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale)
- Have a serious intent to pursue an academic and/or research career
Interested students may register online at: CIC
For additional information contact the Graduate College Educational Equity Programs Office at: GradEEPrograms
When submitting your CIC Free Application, please indicate that you plan to apply to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After completing the online CIC FreeApp, we ask that you visit our site at to apply online to your proposed program of study.
In this online application, there is a section regarding "Application Fee Waivers." In this section, please make sure to indicate that you have submitted a CIC Free Application. We will then approve your application fee waiver once we receive your name from the CIC. We will only contact you if your name does not appear on the CIC list once we are ready to officially admit you to the Graduate College. If you did not qualify we will request payment by check or money order prior to completing your official admission.
Criteria & Supporting Materials
Applicants, whether new, current or former Illinois undergraduate students, must submit the supporting application materials as listed below. All supporting materials should be uploaded directly into the online application.
- Personal Statement- A statement in which you provide evidence of how your professional experiences and prior academic work have focused your thinking toward the planned program of study. There is no length requirement for the personal statement (except for Teacher Leader Specialization, Educational Administration & Leadership, & School Executive Leadership--for these a statement of no less than 500 words is required).
- 3 Letters of Reference - From persons who have direct knowledge of your academic and/or professional performance and potential for graduate study.
- Applicants for Educational Administration & Leadership must also complete the EAL Endorsement Information Form
- Applicants for the College Teaching Minor must also complete the College Teaching Minor Application
- Transcripts- At the time of application you are only required to upload unofficial copies of your transcripts into the application; you do not need to provide any official transcripts unless our department specifically requests them. Applicants must have earned at least a degree from an accredited college in the United States or a comparable degree from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (A=4.0), or comparable GPA for an international applicant, for last two years of undergraduate study is a minimum requirement for admission.
- GRE is not required for applying to the College of Education master's or non-degree programs--You can leave that that section blank in the online application. It is required for doctoral students in Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Psychology. It is highly recommended for doctoral students in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership and Special Education.
- A "writing sample" is required for all doctoral students only.
- English Proficiency
For admission as a non-degree student please complete the online graduate application through the ApplyYourself Application Network. You do not have to submit a personal statement or letters of reference. College transcripts are required. The application fee for a non-degree seeking student is only $15. Visit the Graduate College for detailed instructions for non-degree seeking students.
To help you with the application process, here are some helpful links for:
To help you with the application process, here are some helpful links for:
Instructions for Re-Entry
Are you, or have you been, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign? If so, please follow the re-entry instructions: www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply/reentryAll
NOTE: If you are a former Illinois graduate student, you will not complete an online application. Instead, send all your documentation directly to the appropriate departmental contact in the Academic and Instruction Services Office (AISO) at the College of Education at Illinois.
- My recommender changed, what do I do? Please contact your proposed program of study to make changes to your recommender list.
- Not all my recommendation letters have been submitted online, do I have to wait to submit my application? No. Please submit your application when you are ready. The letters of recommendation can be submitted after your application submission. Please remember that the online checklist may not accurately reflect whether the recommendation has been received as many recommenders prefer to email or mail their letters directly to your proposed program of study. You should contact your proposed program of study if you have any questions regarding the status of your letters of recommendation.
- My recommender is having trouble uploading my letter of recommendation? Share with your recommender the following: The uploaded document must be a PDF or Microsoft Word document and must be smaller than 1500kb. If you are unable to or have difficulties uploading your document, you may submit without uploading the letter. You may instead email your letter to the applicant's proposed program of study. This will not negatively impact the applicant in any way. Please view our program directory, which includes contact information for all of our graduate programs.
- My recommender is having difficulty logging back into Apply Yourself to submit your letter of recommendation? Share with your recommender the following: When you first logged in, you were prompted to change your password. Please make sure you are using your new password to login and not the password originally provided to you in the email requesting the letter. If you are still having issues, please email your letter of recommendation to the applicant’s proposed program of study. This will not negatively impact the applicant in any way. Please view our program directory, which includes contact information for all of our graduate programs.
- My recommender is having difficulties viewing their letter of recommendation after uploading it. Share with your recommender the following: Please make sure you are using Internet Explorer as your web browser as this works best with Apply Yourself. You can also contact the applicant’s proposed program of study to confirm that the letter has been received in our online system. If you prefer, you can also email a second copy to the applicant’s proposed program of study to ensure that it is received. Please view our program directory, which includes contact information for all of our graduate programs.
- My recommender never received a notification email requesting them to write a letter of recommendation. please share this with them: Share with your recommender the following: We have found that sometimes these notification emails are automatically put in Spam or Junk Mail folders. The applicant may also want to check that they have entered in your email address correctly. If you know which program your student is applying to, you can also email your letter to the applicant’s proposed program of study to ensure that it is received. Please view our program directory, which includes contact information for all of our graduate programs.
Application Fee Questions
- I am a McNair Scholar, am I eligible for a fee waiver? Yes, please fax a copy of your McNair Acceptance / Verification Letter from your undergraduate institution to our office at (217)265-0010. We will then approve your application fee waiver. In the online application, there is a section regarding Application Fee Waivers. In this section, please make sure to indicate that you are a McNair Scholar. We will then approve your application fee waiver once we receive your verification letter fax. We will only contact you if we haven’t received this letter once we are ready to officially admit you to the Graduate College.
- I am having issues paying with your credit card? Make sure you are using Internet Explorer as your web browser, and then try paying again. If it will not allow you to submit, please contact your department so that they know you are trying to apply, and they will provide you with further assistance.
- I have multiple application fee charges on my credit card statement? Review your statement to see if these are actual charges or just pre-authorized pending charges. Generally, additional charges are just pre-authorized and will drop off your statement within a few days. Your end of the month statement is the best place to review these.
How to Upload Documents
- When I try to upload my documents, the size is too big, what do I do? Multiple upload buttons have been provided for you to upload your credentials. If you are having difficulty making multiple pages of your credentials fit into one 2000kb document, you can split up the pages into multiple documents and upload the additional files. If you cannot fit your credentials into the upload buttons provided, upload what you can, and email the rest of your documents to your proposed program of study.
- When I try to upload my documents, it doesn’t accept the file type? Make sure your document is saved as a Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF document. Each document must not exceed 2000 kb.
- I need tips for scanning and saving your documents for upload. Review our tips and instructions.
- I’ve already ordered my transcript to be mailed to the department; do I have to still upload my transcript? Yes, you will need to upload a scanned version of your transcript.
- Can I upload additional documents to the online application once it has been submitted? You must contact and obtain permission from your department to submit additional documents.
- Do I need to submit official copies of transcripts to the department or school? At the time of application you do not need to send any official transcripts unless your department specifically requests them.
More Information on GRE & TOEFL
- What are the GRE & TOEFL codes? The institution code is 1836. Department codes are not necessary for our school. You can fill in any number there or leave it blank (if that is an option). As long as the institution code is correct any and all departments you apply to will be provided access to your test scores.
- Have my test scores been received? You will need to contact your proposed program of study directly to confirm the receipt of your official test scores.
- If applying to multiple programs, do I need to submit my test scores multiple times? No. Your test scores will be able to be viewed by all programs for which you apply.
- Is the GRE required? GRE is not required for applying to the College of Education master's or non-degree programs--You can leave that section blank in the online application. It is required for doctoral students in Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Psychology. It is highly recommeded for doctoral students in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership and Special Education.
Support for Application Submission
- I’ve entered information into the application, but when I hit save, the information on the page doesn’t save, what do I do? If you are not using Internet Explorer, please try using that browser. If you are still experiencing problems, you can contact the technical support number at 1-800-526-3313.
- Why is there no term in the drop down box of the application? This means the department deadline has already arrived and the application is closed for the semester. For consideration of a late application, you must contact and receive approval from the department.
- Can I apply to more than one program? Yes. To do so, you should fill out an application for each program and pay the application fee for each one when submitting the applications. You must create a new account for each program that you apply to and use a new username for each application.
- I’ve applied previously, and want to submit a new application, how do I do this? You will need to return to the login page and instead of logging in, click on create account. Put your information in and it will probably tell you that there is already an application in the system for you.
Admitted Student Follow-up
- I have a transcript hold, what do I need to do? We are still missing final academic credentials needed to complete the conditions of your admission. You will need to log back into your online application to re-review your Notice of Admission letter. This letter contains the list of credentials we are still missing. These documents should be sent to your department office.
- I already sent in my final transcripts, yet I still have a transcript hold, what do I need to do? Please contact your department office to check to see if they have received these credentials and to have them forward the credentials to our office to remove your hold.
- I can’t obtain my final transcripts yet and I need to register, what do I do? You need to contact your department office to request that they approve a hold extension for you. You will need to document why you are unable to obtain these credentials and when you expect to provide them to our office. If your department approves, they must submit a letter of request asking our office to grant you an extension on fulfilling this condition of your admission. These requests will be reviewed by our Director on a case by case basis.
- Can I defer my admission? To defer your admission you will need to speak with the department that you are applying to. If they approve, you can defer for up to one calendar year.
- How do I find my UIN and Admit ID? You will need to log back into your online application to re-review your Notice of Admission letter. This letter contains both your UIN and Admit ID.