These schools are similar to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in key aspects like size, setting, and academics.
100% of students
The engineering program is very rigorous. Spend a lot of time studying and do not fall behind. College is not like the movies for engineering students.
I would be aware of falling behind in classes. The pace for courses are very fast, and it is important to follow along.
I truly love UIUC. I think it is a school full of incredible opportunities and high academic rigor. You have to go for these opportunities yourself because they won't be handed to you. However, all of the faculty and staff are outwardly there to help you and are very kind. They want you to succeed from my experience. Though the freshman dorms are crusty and the dining hall food questionable, the friendships that can be formed there are beautiful and extremely likely. Have fun! There's so much to do and get involved in.
The only thing I would comment on is some of the social scenes do bring out the racism embedded in and out of the school. Unfortunately, for a person of color, there have been some instances that make me question the community in which I reside.
It is a great balance of academic and social development. There are hundreds of opportunities through clubs, classes and other organizations that help develop each student. The only thing that is in the way is oneself-- take advantage of the resources there. Explore a building that is not part of your major (there is a Nano Tech building I discovered my senior year!).
Although the college town is great, there isn't much outside of the town.
UIUC is an amazing school where you can receive a world-class education. The social opportunities here are also immense. The only bad thing I can say is that the winters are rough!
I will say that it can be difficult to eat on a consistent schedule due to the dining halls closing at seemingly weird times. But if you plan accordingly this is not an issue.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has more than just a beautiful campus and attractive resources. Faculty and staff are passionate about their fields and have a palpable desire to support students in their academic journeys. Also, the student body is very energetic and eager to pursue its goals both within and beyond academics.
Although the vast majority of the faculty are incredibly encouraging, there are a few in every discipline who are bad apples (as can be expected of any university, I suppose.)
I like how the buses are free but at the same time, everything is within walking distance of the quad. I also liked how many study areas are available to students and the number of commodities, such as coffee shops or grocery stores, are around campus town.
I didn't like how the campus would have a security issue every month whether it was a robbery or sexual harassment.