Resources for Students

We understand that being a student can be challenging at times. You may face any number of stressful situations including relationship difficulties, physical or mental health issues, academic challenges, or financial problems. The important resources listed in this section are available to assist you along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am worried about a friend/peer at Illinois. What is the best way to get them help?

If you think your friend or others might be in immediate danger, call 911 or UIPD at 217-333-1216. They have officers specifically trained to work with students in crisis. If your concern is not immediate/urgent, please make a referral to the Student Assistance Center. You can do so online or by calling our office at 217-333-0050 between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm.

In addition to making a referral you can also walk with your friend to any of the various campus resources whose mission is to support students in need. These include: the Counseling Center, McKinley Health Center, Women’s Resources Center, International Student and Scholar Services, Disability Resources and Educational Services, and more. If you aren’t exactly sure which resource would be most appropriate, know that the Student Assistance Center is a good place to start. We can assist you and/or your friend in getting connected.

I received an email from the Student Assistance Center; do I have to make an appointment?

It depends. Sometimes we send a message asking you simply to reply to the message to let us know you are okay. Sometimes we send a message inviting you to come and meet with us if you would find it helpful. And sometimes our message indicates that we need to meet with you; often in these situations we look at your class schedule and identify a time for you to come in. In all cases, our goal is to make contact with you and to make sure you have the resources and support that you need.

I received an email from the Threat Assessment Team; do I have to make an appointment?

Yes. A request to meet is sent when someone in the community has raised a safety concern about a student. The purpose of the meeting is to share these concerns with the student, work with the student to determine what resources and assistance would be most helpful, and establish a plan for moving forward and managing the situation. Because the concern involve a safety component, we require that the student meet with a representative of the team.

Is the information I share confidential?

Information shared with the Student Assistance Center becomes part of a student's educational record and is thus protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. FERPA dictates that, among other things, 1) students are allowed access to view their own educational records and 2) information in the record may only be shared with the explicit permission of the student or when there is an exception that allows sharing. In all cases, we take students' privacy seriously and take appropriate steps to safeguard records/information. Further, all records/information are used with the goal of providing assistance and support. You can access additional information about FERPA.

Where can I go for counseling?

Students may access counseling in three campus locations:

  • Counseling Center
    Students may contact the Counseling Center at 217-333-3704 to schedule an appointment for counseling and emotional support. The services are free to any student who has paid the student health fee. For routine appointments, the Center uses a same-day scheduling system such that students need to call at 7:50 am when their phone lines open to schedule an appointment for that day. If you are experiencing an emergency, please walk-in and staff will work to arrange an urgent appointment for you.
  • McKinley Health Center
    Counseling and psychiatry services are also available to students at McKinley Health Center in their mental health clinic. Students may call 217-333-2705 to schedule an appointment. These services are also covered by the student health fee.
  • Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)
    Individual therapy, support groups, crisis management, and consultation are available to students who are registered with DRES. Students may reach DRES by calling 217-333-1970, and we suggest that you call to learn about availability.

What is the absence policy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign?

There is no University-wide absence policy. The Office of the Dean of Students does not have oversight of academic departments or faculty members and does not grant excused absences. This authority rests only with the professor. Therefore, we are unable to excuse absences for students, grant extensions, require that professors allow students to make-up missed work, or ensure students may miss class and submit late work without penalty, etc. You should communicate directly with your instructors about your absences. Some professors request that you provide them with what is known as an "absence letter." Our office provides these letters in accordance with the Student Code. Please visit Absence Letters for information regarding eligibility and the process to request a letter.