Interested in attending U-High? The application window for the 2023-24 year has closed, but you can learn about the process here….
Class Size: Each freshman class is comprised of approximately 160 students. Interested upperclass students are also encouraged to apply and are accepted each year.
Academic Ability: U-High accepts students at varying academic levels, and does not seek to enroll only high-performing or gifted students.
Socio-Economic Levels: Students are selected from various socio-economic levels.
The admissions process for the 2024-2025 school year will open around February 1, 2024 (date to be determined). If you are thinking of applying to U-High, here’s what you need to know for admittance for the 2024-2025 school year.
Prospective Student Open House – Will be scheduled for early February, 2024. This is a great opportunity to meet our teachers and learn about U-High!
Shadow Another Student for a Day – If you are interested in seeing what a school day is like at U-High, we invite you to shadow another student for a day in our building during the admissions window (February 2024). Our policy is that current 8th graders may only shadow current freshmen, and upperclassmen will be paired with a student in their grade.
Complete an Application during the Application Period – Our application will become live on/near February 1, 2024 and will be due on/near March 1. Please check this page for specific dates in January of 2024. We offer an online application that allows you to upload all necessary documentation. If you have technology limitations and would prefer a paper application, we offer paper applications in our Main Office. If you need help filling out an application, please contact Teresa Fowler in the main office at 309-438-3349. If you need an application in a language other than English, please submit this form to have an application in your language sent to you.
You will need to submit your student’s grades and test scores (middle school for freshmen applicants; high school for upperclass applicants) and the required two short answer prompts.
How We Use the Application: The Admissions Committee thoroughly reviews each application. We do not see any identifying factors. We look at the following on each application:
Grades: We are looking for students with a variety of academic abilities. If you do not think your performance in this area is what you are capable of, you are highly encouraged to share those thoughts in your prompts.
Test Scores: We understand that standardized tests are a snapshot that day, and accept students with a variety of test scores.
Extracurriculars: We are a small school and need our students to participate in our extracurriculars. We look to see which extracurriculars you want to participate in and if you have experience in those extracurriculars (especially athletics). We do have extracurriculars that we know need certain parts (for example, the orchestra may need a bass) and that is taken into consideration when we are reviewing applications.
Prompts: These prompts are the only opportunity we have to get to know you. Make sure they are written by only you so they are authentic. Share whatever you want to share with the committee so that we are able to get to know you better.
Are you public or private?
We are a public laboratory school.
How much does it cost to attend?
As a public laboratory 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.
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.