As an incoming freshman, you are an important part of our Illinois State University community. We want you to start your college career on the right track. Review the acceptance letter that has been emailed to you with your next steps.
The dates below are for fall enrollment unless otherwise noted.
Activate Your Admitted Student Account
Now that you’ve been admitted, many of the steps on this checklist will require you to access your admitted student account. To begin, follow the activation steps at IllinoisState.edu/Activate.
You’ll need your University ID (UID), which is included in your acceptance letter that was emailed to you.
Once you've activated your account, take your next steps at My.IllinoisState.edu, where your personalized To Do List will be updated with your relevant requirements.
Submit Enrollment Deposit
Newly admitted freshmen must pay a $150 non-refundable deposit to reserve their space in the freshman class. Enrollment deposits for summer and fall are due on May 1.
In addition to paying online, we offer the alternative option for deposit submission by sending a check or money order payable to Illinois State University. Please include the student’s UID number and indicate “Enrollment Deposit” with the payment.
Apply for Financial Aid
Your first step is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available beginning October 1, and we encourage you to complete it by November 15 for full consideration. However, for best consideration for all types of aid, we recommend filing as soon as possible after October 1. Financial aid offer letters will be sent during the month of March if the FAFSA and all requested documents have been submitted.
Submit Housing and Meal Plan Contract
New students will be mailed information about University Housing and meal plans in mid-January. You can begin the online housing/dining application process in mid-February.
Connect with Future Redbirds
Get to know a few friends before you get here! In the Illinois State community on Facebook, you can find other students who share your major, residence hall, or variety of interests.
Look for an email invite from Illinois State once you've been admitted.
Preview is the two-day summer orientation and registration program required for freshmen students and their families. Students who submit an enrollment deposit will be invited to sign up for Preview beginning April 1.
Students meet with an academic advisor, register for classes, get to know current students and future classmates, and meet faculty and staff from various departments.
Take Math Placement Assessment
Testing Services coordinates the placement assessment that will help you place in the most appropriate math class. Students should take the placement exam at least a week before attending Preview.
Send in Immunization Records
All students must have proof of health immunizations on file with Student Health Services to avoid a late fee and being blocked from future class registration.
Learn About Health Insurance
All full-time students must have health insurance coverage. The University offers a health coverage plan that is included in your tuition/fee costs that either supplements existing family coverage or serves as primary coverage for students with no other insurance.
Finalize Your Admission File
You may need to complete one or more of the steps below to finalize your admission:
- Submit your official SAT/ACT scores to the Office of Admissions by July 15 if you submitted a score when applying. Use the SAT (code 1319) or ACT (code 1042) websites to send your official scores.
- After you graduate from high school, submit your final high school transcript to the Office of Admissions by July 15. The graduation date must be posted on the transcript.
- Check your To Do List to confirm your documents have been received.
- If you have completed any courses for college credit, submit the official college transcript to the Office of Admissions.
- If you will have Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test scores, please submit them to the University Registrar to receive appropriate college credit.
Technology is crucial to success in today’s college environment. Whether it’s late-night studying, group projects, or streaming TV shows—you need a computer that meets your needs.
View Illinois State's TechZone FAQs for advice on when and where to buy, student discounts, and much more.
In early August, you'll receive instructions in your University email on how to complete your campus technology orientation.
Explore Student Organizations
You don't have to wait until you're on campus to start thinking about which registered student organizations you'll join as a Redbird.
Research Transportation Options
Parking permit information is mailed to students who live in the residence halls or university-owned apartments. Off-campus students can also purchase a commuter parking permit.
You don't necessarily need a car. Students ride free on Bloomington-Normal's Connect Transit system, including the Redbird Express that runs daily across campus.
Attend Move-In and Welcome Week
Your Redbird life truly begins when you arrive on campus.