Why do I need a credential evaluation?
There are many education systems in the world. The credential evaluations are used to establish a US-equivalent GPA, verify the accreditation of the institutions where the applicant obtained or will obtain their degree, and benchmark completed coursework to determine if the applicants have met the prerequisite coursework requirements for their intended program.
What makes a credential "official"?
A document is considered official when it is issued directly by the high school, college, or university where the credential was earned to either the NACES member or to UIS. UIS will not accept documents that have been issued to an applicant unless the document is in a sealed envelope that is signed by an official at the university.
UIS will accept electronic credentials, but the sender must use an official school email address and the credential must be sent directly to UIS; UIS will not accept forwarded emails with attached credentials.
How can my institution send my transcript(s)/credential(s) to UIS?
If your institution wants to mail a copy of your credentials to UIS, please use the following address:
University of Illinois Springfield
Office of Admissions
One University Plaza UHB - 1080
Springfield, IL 62703
How can my institution send my credential(s) electronically to UIS?
Credentials may be emailed as attachments to email@example.com. The sender must use an institutional email address. Transcripts received from non-institutional email addresses, such as gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc will not be accepted. UIS will also not accept forwarded emails with attached credentials.
Are there any exceptions to the credential evaluation requirement?
Undergraduate applicants applying to UIS from a registered International Baccalaureate Institution, Council of International Schools member institution, US State Department Assisted School, or a school holding US regional accreditation are not required to undergo a credential evaluation. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you qualify for one of these exceptions.
If my grades are already in a U.S. 4.0 scale, do I have to pay for a credential evaluation?
Yes. The credential evaluations do more than establish a US-equivalent GPA. They also verify the accreditation of the institutions where the applicant obtained or will obtain their degree, and benchmark completed coursework to determine if the applicants have met the prerequisite coursework requirements for their intended program.
Can I request an in-house evaluation and later send a NACES member evaluation if the NACES member evaluation has a different GPA or degree equivalency?
If you request and pay for an in-house evaluation of your transcripts, that will be the official evaluation for admission purposes. If you later send a NACES member evaluation with a different GPA or degree equivalency, it will not be used for admissions purposes for the same application.
Can I send unofficial transcripts for the credential evaluation?
No. UIS requires official transcripts or credentials to make an admission decision.
Can I upload a copy of my transcript or credentials to my admissions status page?
No. UIS requires official transcripts or credentials to make an admission decision.
Will you review my application before I submit my credentials for evaluation?
No. Your application will not be complete until we have either received a NACES member evaluation of your credentials or you have paid the credential evaluation fee and someone at UIS has evaluated your credentials.
How will you calculate my GPA?
Your GPA is calculated using your institution’s grading scale, and with guidelines set by AACRAO Edge and select professional organizations for international students, it is then converted to a U.S. 4.0 grading scale.
Do my transcripts have to be in English?
Yes. We cannot translate any documents in our office. If your transcripts are not in English, they must be translated by an approved translator. A list of approved translators may be found here:
NACES member organizations (see preferred list under admission document requirements)
US Consulate certification
EducationUSA Offices (select locations)
I have already had my credentials by a member of NACES but they aren’t on your list of preferred evaluation companies. Do I have to have it re-evaluated?
No. We will accept an evaluation from any of the NACES member companies. If you choose to use a member that is not listed in our preferred list, please contact email@example.com to determine the type of evaluation we require for your application.
I have earned a Higher National Diploma. Is this equivalent to a bachelor's degree?
No. We will not consider a Higher National Diploma equivalent to a bachelor's degree. You are welcome to apply as an undergraduate transfer student.
I have a 3-year bachelor's degree. Will you accept it as equivalent to a US bachelor's degree?
Unfortunately, there isn't a straightforward answer to this. It depends on the country and the type of degree that was earned. Please reference the country where the degree was earned in the Supporting Document Requirement section. If you have additional questions, please reach out to admissions.
If I am admitted but do not enroll, can I receive my transcripts back?
No. All items submitted as part of your application(s) become property of UIS and are retained by the Office of Records and Registration. These items can also not be forwarded to other institutions.
I am applying to graduate school. I have already earned a master's degree but it isn't related to the program I am now applying to. Do I have to send you this transcript?
Yes. We require transcripts for all academic coursework, even if the coursework isn't related to the program you are applying to.
I am applying for a graduate degree. Do I have to submit my high school transcript?
No. We only need official copies of your university-level coursework.
I am applying as a transfer student. Do I need to submit my high school transcript?
If you have earned at least 30 equivalent credit hours (based either on the UIS evaluation or a NACES member evaluation) at a previous university, you will not need to submit your high school transcript. If you have earned less than 30 credit hours, you will need to submit your high school transcript.
When are the application deadlines?
You should submit your application at least 3 months before the term begins. We encourage you to submit it 6 - 9 months before the term begins so that there is time to provide all of the supporting documents, processing and evaluation time, and time to schedule a visa interview if you are admitted.
For the Fall semester, which starts in August each year, students must submit their application and all supporting documents no later than May 15th.
For the Spring semester, which starts in January each year, students must submit their application and all supporting documents no later than November 15th.
If you do not meet these deadlines, you will be given the option to defer your application, if you have not previously deferred.
Why can't I apply to the Summer semester?
Unfortunately, UIS does not offer enough on-campus classes in the summer to meet student visa requirements for incoming students. If you need an F-1 student visa, you must apply for either the Fall or Spring semesters. If you apply for the summer semester, you will be asked to defer your enrollment.
The program I want to apply to is closed. What does that mean?
UIS prides itself on small classes and personalized attention from faculty members. Because of this, there are a limited number of students that can enroll in some of our programs. If the program indicates it is closed, then we cannot admit any additional students for that term.
I was admitted but I won't be able to enroll as planned. Can I defer my admission?
Students are able to defer their admission once and only up to one calendar year. The request to defer your admission must be submitted before the semester begins or you will have to reapply.
I was admitted and paid my application fee and credential evaluation fee. I wasn't able to enroll, but have reapplied. Do I have to pay the fees again?
Yes. If you were admitted and did not enroll and later submit a new application for another term, you have to pay both the application fee and credential evaluation fee again.
Every school I am applying to is charging an evaluation fee. Are there any waivers available?
No. The payment for your transcript evaluation displays your investment in your application and desire to enroll.
I have submitted a graduate application to more than one program this semester. Do I have to pay multiple application fees?
Yes. You must submit an application fee for each application. However, you only have to pay one credential application fee for the semester you are applying to.
For the Credential Evaluation fee - is this fee per transcript?
No. We are charging $150 for credential evaluation regardless of how many transcripts you submit.
Is there a waiver for the graduate application fee?
The application fee displays your investment in your application and desire to enroll. There are not any waivers available for graduate students.
Is there a waiver for the undergraduate application fee?
Undergraduate applicants who submit their online application before December 1 will receive a waiver for their application fee automatically.
I applied to UIS through UIS Global/Shorelight. Do I have to pay the credential evaluation fee?
No. You will complete your application entirely through UIS Global/Shorelight. If you have any questions about your application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Shorelight sent my transcripts to UIS. I submitted a separate application to UIS for a different program. Do I have to send my transcripts again and pay the evaluation fee?
Yes, you will have to send a separate copy of your official transcripts for your UIS application either directly to UIS or to a member of NACES. You will be required to pay the $150 credential evaluation fee if you wish for UIS to evaluate your transcript.
When will I get my I-20?
After a student is admitted, you will work with the International Student Services office and provide requested information that will be needed to determine your eligibility for an I-20. It can take several weeks after a student is admitted before they receive their I-20.
How much do I have to demonstrate to receive my I-20?
If you are admitted to UIS, you will need to demonstrate $35,000 USD in assets to obtain an I-20.