About us: Overview

Frequently asked questions

Are you public or private?

We are a public school.

How much does it cost to attend?

As a public school, we do not charge tuition, but instead charge fees like all other public schools. In addition, costs for fees, textbooks and extracurriculars are waived or reduced for those families that qualify.

Our Mission

As part of Illinois State University’s College of Education, U-High is one of two lab schools designed as a place of learning for future educators.(Read more about our mission here.)

Does U-High offer transportation for students?

U-High does not offer transportation, but there is public transportation near U-High. Students can ride free using their ID provided by Illinois State University. Transportation between the school and extracurricular contests is provided.

I’ve heard that U-High is only for academically gifted students or athletes. Is this true?

No. We accept students with varying ability levels and we strive to admit students with a wide variety of interests. U-High attempts to maintain a balance of students as diverse as the Bloomington-Normal and surrounding areas. We expect every student to work up to their potential.

What activities do you have?

You can find more information about all of our IHSA athletics and activities by clicking on those links on the front of the website. We also have many other clubs that vary by year.

What academic courses of study can I pursue?

The lab schools offer a wide curriculum including AP courses and dual-credit courses with Heartland Community College.

How do students benefit from being part of a “lab school”?

As a laboratory school, we have hundreds of ISU students studying to be teachers in our classrooms each year, bringing the student to teacher ratio down in each of those classrooms. Students have access to ISU facilities and equipment. In addition, the lab schools are constantly studying and implementing best practices in education, which benefits everyone.

Do I need a laptop?

You do not. All incoming students are issued a new laptop along with account access to our Google domain, Office 365 and the Google Workspace course system. U-High has been a state leader at integrating technology into learning activities, and our students learn quickly to operate in an on-line learning environment.

What does “open campus” mean?

It means students are free to read, complete homework or grab lunch nearby (or in our cafeteria) when they don’t have a scheduled class.

Why do you have an admissions process?

The lab schools have a limited capacity, which normally translates into around 625 spaces at U-High. Thus, as much as we would like to, we cannot accept every student who wants to attend.

How do you make the decision to invite a student to attend?

The Admissions Committee is comprised of teachers, counselors and administrators who sort candidates by district, review each application without identifying factors, and select a diverse student population who best match the available openings. Our goal is to admit a well-rounded class of students each year.

My student was not admitted to U-High this year. Can they be placed on a waiting list?

All students not admitted initially will be considered for admission spots as they arise unless you contact us to remove your student’s name from the applicant pool. Please do not contact the school and ask to be put on a waiting list.