Admissions to University Laboratory High School is highly selective and is based upon an application with essays, previous academic performance, scores on the Secondary School Admission Test, and two letters of recommendation from teachers. Approximately 200 students apply each year. Most students enter as subfreshmen (seventh and eighth graders combined into one class), and admission to the four high school grades is based on space availability. Ordinarily, there are three or more applicants for every opening at the school.
Located on the University of Illinois campus, Uni draws its students from a 40-mile radius, with 85% of the students residing in Champaign-Urbana and 15% in surrounding communities. The racial/ethnic makeup of the student body can be characterized as follows: Caucasian--63%, Asian American--26%, African American--5%, Hispanic--5%, and American Indian--1%.
Although 100% of Uni students eventually attend a 4-year college or university, a portion of each graduating class (5-15%) defers admission in order to study abroad, travel, volunteer, etc.