Undergraduate application priority filling period ends Nov. 1

A frantic mess consisting of personal essays, pots of coffee and bags of college pamphlets are the only concerns on a student’s mind as they apply to different colleges across the nation.

Nov. 1 is the priority filing application deadline for students applying to the University.

Danielle DeWitt, student tour guide and sophomore in LAS, said she applied to the University last minute, yet she chose to come here because it is closer to home, cheaper than other universities and has many different reputable programs.

However, she added that students on tours share similar concerns about this University.

“People are really concerned about the size and the feel of the campus,” DeWitt said.

The other worry plaguing students’ minds is the uncertainty of what program they will go into. Still, DeWitt said the many opportunities the University offers alleviates this worry.

“U of I has a lot of different opportunities in a lot of different areas,” she said. “There are a lot of awesome programs.”

A unique feature available on campus is the large number of registered student organizations totaling more than 1,200, DeWitt said.

Kevin Armstrong, sophomore in Engineering, also said there is a lot of opportunities on campus because of its large size.

Armstrong added a negative to applying to the University is the lack of finances.

DeWitt said she has not heard a lot about increasing rates of tuition for future University students. While other schools are much more expensive, Illinois students still find the tuition rate at the University cheaper than most schools, she added.

Joe Rank, vice president of membership of the University Alumni Association and 1969 graduate, said the primary factor in choosing the right school depends on the fit for the individual student.

“The factor is the fit between academic interests and what’s offered at the University,” Rank said.

From a parent’s perspective, he wants to know what his children are getting out of an education at the University with his money.

Instead of giving advice to potential incoming students, Rank offers advice to freshmen in high schools thinking of pursuing higher education.

“My advice would have started four years earlier to take the most rigorous college prep classes and to do well in them,” he said.

He added that nobody likes increases in any prices, including raising tuition rates for students. Rank said he sees two options for cutting down University costs — raising tuition rates or cutting services and personnel.

“The reality is that the state support is what it is,” Rank said. “The only thing is a budget variable that the University can control is tuition.”

Despite the extensive budget cuts and the effect on potential incoming freshmen, Rank said the University has to maintain a strong educational foundation.

“The University position ­— we’ve got to preserve the core academic mission,” he said.

With looming deadlines and circles around the eyes of students applying to universities, Armstrong said he advises students not to stress out and to apply to several colleges.

“Relax,” Armstrong said. “Believe in yourself, and have more than one school.”