Urbana High School senior Michael Chen wasted no time filling out his application to the University of Illinois last month, The News-Gazette reports.

Officially set to debut Sept. 1, the new online application for the UI's Urbana-Champaign campus went live ahead of schedule, on Aug. 28. Within two days, Chen was ready to hit "submit."

Once he did, his application was complete — no more waiting for his transcripts to be sent in.

The application includes a "Self-Reported Academic Record," in which students fill in their own courses and grades. The campus only requires official transcripts from students who accept its offer of...

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