Since 2013 the Graduate College has offered Aspire Illinois. This program is an opportunity for prospective graduate students from U.S. populations historically underrepresented in graduate programs at Illinois to learn about our university and our graduate programs. Aspire Illinois also offers an early round of the Graduate College Fellowship competition to participating departments that nominate Aspire Illinois students who have been admitted to their graduate programs.
The program begins with a series of online instructional webinars that explain the graduate school application process. In past years, it also provided an opportunity for Aspire Illinois participants to visit our campus early in the application process, while simultaneously allowing departments to showcase the quality and strength of their programs. This year 176 students will complete the program.
In lieu of the annual in-person campus visit, this year the Graduate College will host Discover Illinois, a virtual visit for the 2020 Aspire Illinois participants that will also include numerous other highly-sought-after prospective graduate students enrolled at colleges and universities throughout the United States and U.S. territories.
Discover Illinois will take place October 12 -15, 2020. Our Aspire Illinois students are eager to meet with our graduate programs and are in the process of identifying faculty members and graduate programs of interest. In addition to this year's Aspire Illinois participants, we anticipate more than 100 other prospective graduate students from historically underrepresented populations will participate.
More detailed information regarding the Aspire Illinois program and the Discover Illinois Virtual Campus Visit will be sent from Ave M. Alvarado at i-Aspire@illinois.edu in the coming weeks.
Dean, Graduate College