Normal, IL
Illinois State University


225 Ratings

Video courtesy of Illinois State University.

Founded in 1857, Illinois State University was the first public university in the state and is one of the Midwest’s oldest institutions of higher education. It is a coeducational, residential university.

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Recent Reviews

Charles
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I was able to go back in time I would have an ear full to give myself. I would start out making sure that I knew that no ...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I was able to go back in time I would have an ear full to give myself. I would start out making sure that I knew that no one is going to go out of their way to help unless they are asked. Counselors are more then will to point you in the right direction but they need to be told what direction you are looking for. They are a great resource that should not be ignored. I would also try to talk myself into going to Junior College first. I was unaware of the cost differences and how much harder the transition was going to be to jump into a 4-year school. I also would of made sure that I knew what would happen if I stayed on the same path that I took. Still working towards your major at 26 due to having to slow down and work on paying down the debt that has been accumulated. Not to mention the hour plus long commute that I have to complete due to job location.

Jena
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Illinois State Univesity, as cliche as it might be, is truly your home away from home.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Illinois State Univesity, as cliche as it might be, is truly your home away from home.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

All students have things we wish we could have done differently; get to know your professors, go to every class since you ‘re paying so much money to attend them, get involved, and go to more sporing events. However if I could provide just one bit of advice to the anxious freshman so long ago, I would tell myself to find a passion early on and pursue it relentlessly. Although I did eventually find my passion with international studies, it seems I missed the boat on several opportunities. As I prepare to return to Illinois State this fall in order to follow my dream of becoming a Study Abroad Coordinator, I can’t help but think I could have more relevant experience on my resume had I known about this desire freshman year instead of senior. I know, it’s hard to comprehend and acknowledge what you’re truly passionate about when you’re an incoming freshman, already overwhelmed by the extraordinary transition that will take place. Just remember to always keep your future in mind, and if you have a desire to pursue something, no matter the circumstance, do it; you might end up translating that into a career.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

Illinois State has a tremendous sense of community. The clases range from large lecture halls to small, specialized classes. There are countless clubs and organizations you have the opportunity to join in order to make friends you'll keep for a lifetime. The most frustrating thing about ISU is that once students join an organization, they tend to stay within the imaginary boundaries set. Friends from the radio station interact scarcely with TV students, one sorority won't spend much time with another, or athletes stick to their own teams. I would like to see more interaction and bonding.

Catherine
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could tell my high school senior self what I know now, I would advise myself not to give up. I would tell myself that ev...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could tell my high school senior self what I know now, I would advise myself not to give up. I would tell myself that everything would work out by the beginning of college. I would try to explain how things would not be as difficult as they seemed back then. In high school, I was very stressed with the IB program and I was nervous about passing the exams. I would encourage myself to try my hardest in all of my classes and do my best on all of the exams. I would inform myself that the idea of taking a year off before going to college was very beneficial. I was able to get a full time job to support myself through my first year of college. This information would be helpful to my high school senior self because I was worried about college and my financial situation and the possiblilty of taking some time off before continuing my education. Overall, if I could go back in time, I'd let myself know that college would be a fun and wonderful experience and I would not regret it.

Brooke
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Illinois State is a very welcoming and friendly enviorment!

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Illinois State is a very welcoming and friendly enviorment!

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

My school is best known for its special education program.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to work harder and to take advantage of important opportunities. I am sure I could have gotten A's in those classes that I got B's. Those volunteer opportunties are really valuable to college applications and scholarships. I would tell myself to focus on the things that really matter, such as leadership, service, and involvement, instead of focusing on having a relationship. The transition to college will make you realize that there is many more options out there. Goals and passions last longer than high school relationships. Most of all, I would tell myself to think about what would benefit my college career and future. Try as hard as you can in your classes, take on service projects to better your community, and take advantage of every opportunity.

Desirae
What is your overall opinion of this school?

There are so many great aspects of Illinois State! I absolutely love it here. I thought it would be a huge adjustment coming ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

There are so many great aspects of Illinois State! I absolutely love it here. I thought it would be a huge adjustment coming to such a large school because I came from a very small town where I graduated with only 37 people in my class. ISU is large, but the student body is so unified and the campus really has that hometown feel that I love. It makes me feel like I belong, and I absolutely love the amount of redbird spirit that we have here. The atmosphere surrounding the university is just right. It has that "college town" atmosphere with plenty of places to eat, little shops, a CVS, book stores, or anything else you might need right within walking distance. Even better, if it isn't within walking distance (like Wal-Mart), the city buses are free for students! Academically, it is also great because there are resources for anything and everything you might need, our library is great, and if someone cannot help you, he or she will help you find the person who can!

Describe a day on campus you'll never forget.

I will absolutely never forget the night that Osama Bin Laden was killed. There were people EVERYWHERE rallying. The streets were absolutely filled with students showing support for their country. If you get a chance, search Osama death ISU rally to see the unity among ISU students. It was absolutely amazing and no words can describe how amazing it felt to be a part of this student body.

How often should I phone home? Is once a day too much?

This is totally up to you and what you are comfortable with. I usually don't call home except for once every couple of weeks for short updates. However, my roommate last year would call home nearly every day and it was her second year here. It really depends on how close you are to your family and why you want to be calling home. If it's something you like to do, then go for it. There is no one here stopping you, and it's always good to keep in touch back home to keep a good support system while you're away.

I don't drink. Will it be hard for me to go to parties?

It might be an adjustment at first, but I don't think it will be hard at all. Drinking is totally up to you. Stick to what you want to do, and most importantly, what you don't want to do. There is more to a party than just drinking!

What do people really wear to class?

You will see all kinds of wardrobes in your classes here! Many students go all for comfort with sweatpants and t-shirts, maybe yoga pants. Many people will be found in jeans, and then you also see the students who want to be cute for class. Generally guys wear jeans and girls are found in t-shirts and pony tails, especially if it's an early class. However, the business department requires that students dress professionally for certain classes, so you will see many students wandering around campus in suits or formal clothing. Nursing students are often times spotted in scrubs wandering around campus as well. All in all, wear what you want and I can guarantee you won't feel out of place!

What's the hardest thing about freshman year?

For me, the hardest part was being away from everything I was familiar with. I came to ISU not knowing anyone and all of my friends went to other schools. It was a huge adjustment, but it was the perfect way for me to get out there and find out who I really was and what I wanted out of my college experience. It really didn't take as long as I thought to get acclimated to the college life.

Tell us about the sports scene on campus.

Our campus has so much school spirit. Our campus is really into basketball season and we get pretty competitive with Bradley University. Every game is so much fun, and during homecoming there is a pretty big tailgating event for the football game. I like watching the games, but my favorite part is the school spirit.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

I decided to go to ISU because I knew I wanted to pursue nursing. The statistics were great, so I decided to check it out. Once I came to a visit, I knew it was where I wanted to be. It's also only about an hour away from home, which is close enough for me to go back when I want, but it's far enough that my parents can't just stop by for a visit any time.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Often times, the students at our school are stereotyped at being party people. While it is a large university, it is easy to see how someone could think that. However, Illinois State is a university with a large, diverse population of students. Not everyone goes out to parties, and there are many events for those who want something other than the party scene.

Moriah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I really like this school. The teaching program is really good, although hard, it adequately prepares students for teaching. ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I really like this school. The teaching program is really good, although hard, it adequately prepares students for teaching. I also really like the campus, is small so you can walk every where, but big enough that you don't see the same people every day. One thing I wish I could change is the school spirit, not many people go to sporting events and school pride doesn't seem to be at the top of everyone's list. I spend a lot of time in the Bone Student Center or just hanging out around in the dorms. There are a lot of places to study or hangout which makes studying great so you aren't always in the same place. There is also always something to do. Student organizations always have events planned that are almost always fun and interesting to go to. I've also had great experiences with almost all of my teachers and professors. It's also very safe, I've never felt concerned or worried about walking anywhere at any time of day. The majority of the complaints I have heard are usually about the dorms. Whether it's the food or the bathrooms there always seems to be something. But I think you will get that anywhere you go! Overall ISU is a great school and I wouldn't change my decision to go here at all!

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

Get involved with things quickly. You make a lot more friends that way. It took me until second semester to figure that one out!

Why did you decide to go to this school?

They have a great Special Education program, the best in the state and high up in the nation. I majoring in Special Ed so I knew I would be adequately prepared once I graduate.

Describe the students at your school.

The school is predominantly white so that's mostly who your around. But so far in my experience I have never had any problems with race. Unfortunately the majority of races stick to themselves, however everyone is friendly and there aren't really conflicts. In terms of sexual orientation and socio-economic status, I have never seen problems with either of those. The school seems pretty supportive of being yourself and accepting of that! The majority of students where sweatpants to classes. No one wants to get up at 8 and look cute for a lecture! The dinning hall varies, but usually people go with familiar faces and if they don't go with someone they know they usually get a take-out box. There are only a few times a day that the dinning centers are busy and seating is almost never a problem. In my experience money differences never seems to be a big issue. We are all broke college students, some people just have others providing for them. It never seems to be an issue or something people talk about unless it's complaining of a lack of money. Politically it doesn't really seem to be a topic people talk about. Our generation typically isn't super into politics. For the most part we are all in the same boat with similar goals...to graduate with as little debt as possible!

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

A huge stereotype is that a lot of the students a ISU are here because they didn't have a high enough ACT score to get into U of I, or they didn't get accepted. That is false for many students including myself, who only wanted to go to ISU because it is a great school. Another stereotype is that the athletes stick to themselves. The rest of the stereotypes are pretty standard. Like high school you have the jocks, the smokers, the nerds, however in college everyone is a lot more mixed in. You can tell who each person is, but there aren't really clicks. Everyone is pretty friendly and you can make friends with just about anyone!

Sarah
What are the most popular classes offered?

I think that the most popular classes offered at ISU would have to be those dealing with either nursing or education. Nursin...

What are the most popular classes offered?

I think that the most popular classes offered at ISU would have to be those dealing with either nursing or education. Nursing and education are two very popular majors at ISU.

Tell us about the food and dining options.

The campus provides a wide variety of things to eat. Each dining hall, there are currently three, has many different choices and they have different specials each meal so that you are not stuck eating the same thing every day. Some of the things you can get at the dining halls include salads, pizza, deli sandwiches, pasta (they have marinara and alfredo sauce), burgers, grilled cheese, chicken sandwiches, quesadillas, tacos, fruit, ice cream, and other sweet things. Some of the specials can include orange chicken, buffalo chicken salad, lasagna, steak, mashed potato, and many others. Besides the dining hall the campus provides other choices of food places such as subway, pizza hut, mcallister's delli, einstein brothers bagels, jamba juice, and burger king. There are also multiple fast food restraunts, ice cream places, pizza places, and restraunts in walking distance from the campus. There are also city busses, which are free to ISU students, that run to the mall (which also has many restraunts by it), target, walmart, and more.

Sarah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love ISU; I think it has just the right amount of people, around 20,000. I like that there are always new people to meet, y...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love ISU; I think it has just the right amount of people, around 20,000. I like that there are always new people to meet, yet once you start meeting people it's nice to see familiar faces around the quad. The reactions of people when I tell them I go to ISU depends on who it is and their point of view; some that attend community colleges say that "I'm fancy" and that I'm going to a nice school. With others you can tell they assumed that it's not as prestigious as other universities. But I am definitely proud to be a redbird; I LOVE it here. I think about the other schools I could have gone to, but one thing that got me to come here was the quad and overall setting. I love that all the main buildings are around the quad and fairly quick to get to, especially when you are running late it's nice that it only takes about 10 to get where you need. Also, I joined a sorority this year and can't imagine being without all of them. I spend most of my time either in my dorm (hopping from room to room or hanging in the lounge), and we're all pretty close on my floor, or else going to friends' dorms or appartments. There is school pride, but I don't think it's anything special.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

Stereotype: Most of the students are white and came here because they didn't get in to other schools such as U of I or Marquette. This is partially true; the school does seem to be predominately white, but there are all types of people here. Also, some people did not make it into those schools that are viewed with higher status, so they chose ISU, but there are others who chose ISU for their programs or simply because they really like it here. There are a lot of people here who are extremely smart and dedicated.

Samantha
Describe the students at your school.

Illinois State University is extremely diverse. There are several fraternities and sororities on campus that are specific to ...

Describe the students at your school.

Illinois State University is extremely diverse. There are several fraternities and sororities on campus that are specific to culture. There are just cultural groups in general at ISU. There are several religious groups on campus as well. just recently, there was an atheist group created on campus - not to ruin the religious groups, but just to try and accept others who do not fall into the religious category.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics are great at ISU. Milner Library always seems packed full of students studying. I am a speech-language pathology major. This major is extremely competitive. Just this last year, the average GPA accepted to their graduate program was a 3.9 - crazy. However, I love all of my professors. They take the time to get to know you and really do want you to succeed as long as you're willing to try.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

A stereotype of Illinois State University is that it is for kids who didn't get accepted into U of I. While this may be true in some cases, it isn't in mine. ISU has several highly recognized programs including Speech-Language Pathology, Business, Education, etc. And just putting it out there, you can get a great education at both U of I Champaign-Urbana and Illinois State University, however, ISU is cheaper.

Elizabeth
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love Illinois State. I get exceptional help from my counselors and faculty advisers. I have never had a teacher that did no...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love Illinois State. I get exceptional help from my counselors and faculty advisers. I have never had a teacher that did not want to help me succeed. There are so many resources to help you get your education- like the FREE Julian Visor Tutoring Center, study groups, and a great staff of librarians. If you take advantage of your counselors, faculty and advisers there is absolutely no reason you should not succeed. Besides the amazing faculty, I love Illinois States' campus. So many things are happening on our Quad every day. There are Quidditch practices (yes, from Harry Potter), art displays, even animals shelter adoption days! Not even 3 blocks off the quad, there is uptown normal which was newly renovated. It has a gorgeous circle where I like to sit and eat my lunch in the spring, shops, cafes, and restaurants. It's perfect for when you start to get tired of the dining hall food. Another great thing is that there are soooo many RSO's (Registered Student Organizations)- which is basically just all the clubs on campus. And if you can not find a RSO that matches your interests (which I doubt, because there are hundreds!), you just create your own! There is no reason to feel isolated at ISU, everyone is friendly and they want you to be involved! You get to decide how much.

Why did you decide to go to this school?

I have lived in Normal since I was nine years old, my mom went to this school, it just made sense. But when I came to the campus and met the Honors Program staff, I knew I would be taken care of. Plus, the scholarship they offered me didn't hurt either :-p

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The most popular groups are definitely church small groups, academics clubs and sports teams. I'm involved with the Presidential Scholars Club, which is an academic group for Presidential Scholars at the university that meets socially, does fundraisers for service opportunities, among other things. There is also a prominent night life Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights around campus. If you don't want to hit the parties or the bars, there is a great Bowling and Billiards center on campus and the Bone Student Center is always putting on activities.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 17,749
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $13,010
  • Acceptance rate
  • 74%

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