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The University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA Faculty AccessibilityA
Useful SchoolworkB- Excess CompetitionA
Academic SuccessB- Creativity/ InnovationA
Individual ValueD- University Resource UseF
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA FriendlinessA
Campus MaintenanceC Social LifeC
Surrounding CityB+ Extra CurricularsA
SafetyA
Describes the student body as:
Arrogant, Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Female
ACT:31
id='quarter' class='snapshot' style='color: #009704; line-height:80px';float:left;
SAT1450
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
University Resource Use
F
Highest Rating
Educational Quality
A
She cares more about University Resource Use than the average student.
Date: Mar 31 2006
Major: Agriculture/Horticulture (This Major's Salary over time)
First of all, despite my high scores, I was not a terribly good student in high school. I didn't have an awful GPA, but it was honestly pretty mediocre. That is why I found myself in ACES, which is the Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences college here. It is selective, but not traditionally as selective as other departments. Honestly, I am from the city and well…it's an agricultural college. If I had gotten better grades I would have gone into the Liberal Arts and Sciences college. Originally I planned to transfer there and with a 3.98 GPA at the end of my freshman year, I could have, but I didn't want to. ACES is actually great and I probably would have transferred to another school if I were not in ACES. LAS classes…well…the liberal arts classes I've had have been quite horrible. People never do the reading, discussions are apathetic, and UIUC's neglect of the liberal arts is evident in decaying buildings. The science departments are better funded and the classes are a lot more challenging, but there is an emptiness I found in the chemistry and biology department. I liked the classes overall, but it's very cutthroat and you feel like a number. Thankfully you don't have to be stuck in LAS, because UIUC has a lot of niche departments. ACES by far has the best that I know of, though FAA has a really nice urban planning program. In ACES I ended up studying environmental economics and taking harder classes (if not harder, since I went up though MV calc and through the gen chem sequence) than the BUS finance/LAS economics. ACES has some easy departments (child development), but the department I am in, ACE, is very challenging. The classes are also much smaller and more interesting than those in LAS econ/BUS. I personally adore the professors in ACE. I think they are all really intelligent and easy to talk to. I am in an honors program called James Scholars and I've found them very helpful in helping me complete honors projects. The TAs in the department are from many different countries, which is good in that you get an "international" experience and most of them speak English much better than the foreign TAs I had for science. ACE does have some "easier" subjects, like consumer economics, but it has a lot of challenging programs as well, such as international economics and agricultural economics. ACES also has a heavily subsidized study abroad program, which is a lot more accessible than the programs in other colleges. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some sort of ACES promotional agent. My department is quite focused on graduate/advanced undergrad students and unless you take the very tough preregs early on, you will find you have no classes to take. There have also been curriculum problems in many of the ACES departments. The focus on undergrads is relatively new and it shows in disorganized advising and the fact that in most ACES departments you can have two people with the same major taking vastly different classes in terms of difficulty. There are a lot of really easy majors at UIUC that seem to be designed for athletes and the Greek system, but there are also a handful of wonderful departments and I have had a very challenging curriculum. Besides ACE, I am in two selective minors, Environmental Studies and Urban Planning, and I love those departments as well.

This is a big school and social life largely centers around drinking. The Greek system here is quite powerful and arrogant. I personally have been able to avoid the Greek and drinking by taking the hardest classes possible and living away from things. I still have to deal with such lovely things as

Unofficial St. Patricks Day
in which students go to class drunk and make fools of themselves and really stupid sorority girls yammer in classes. I won't lie…I absolutely hate the Greek system because of attending this college. It is extremely sexist and backwards to say the least.

Living options as in dorms are quite awful too. My first year I lived in LAR, an all women's dorm, which was OK…except for the fact I was forced to move out of my room by my extremely nasty first roommate. I felt like I had no rights in that situation and it was very stressful. LAR and Busey-Evans are OK, ISR is great for engineers, the Six Pack is best for pre-Greeks, and PAR/FAR should be avoided whenever possible. The bright spot in terms of dorms is Allen Hall, a living-learning community. Allen has fewer narrow minded/stupid people and has lots of activities. If you live there you also get access to special smaller classes. If you are a liberal, intellectual, or not a typical Illinoisian, I highly recommend Allen. Allen also has added benefits of having "Field of Greens" a vegetarian dining hall with better than average food, it's near the gym, and near a lot of other great places like the Canopy Club, which has excellent concerts.

Responses
questionI am a senior in high school and my situation is identical to yours. I slacked off during high school and now I awfully regret it. How hard is it to get into the ACES department? What other easy majors are there at Urbana?
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The University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign
The University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign
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