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Tools for Graduate Contacts

Here are some free tools that might be useful.


Box - U of I Box is the University of Illinois' instance of leading online cloud content service. U of I Box will provide content management services, mobile access to files, online collaboration workspaces, FTP, and general document management to U of I students, faculty, and staff with a high degree of functionality across multiple desktop and mobile platforms. See for more information.

U of I Box Provides:

  • 50 gigabytes of storage for students, faculty, and staff--far more than eDocs, Webdisks, or Netfiles
  • Secure, legal storage and access of confidential FERPA data
  • Mobile security that is on par with desktop security
  • The ability to share files with other campus users or with people from other institutions, companies or the general public (e.g., vendors, grant agencies, media outlets, etc.)*
  • The ability to share files through online course management systems such as Blackboard and IllinoisCompass 2g
  • The ability to create dropboxes into which students can turn in their assignments without violating each other’s FERPA confidentiality
  • The ability to upload, download, and stream audio or video using Box’s integrated media players*
  • Mobile versions that enable collaboration on Android, iOS, and other html-compatible mobile browser

Doodle – Doodle helps to schedule meetings by allowing you to collect each participant’s available times, all on the Web and free. See for more information.

GPA Calculator – This tool is maintained by the Office of the Registrar, and is intended to be used for calculating UIUC GPAs, because it uses our grading scale.  This tool can be used by departments, and the link can be added to your webpages as a resource for your students,

Password managers - Password managers can help you remember and secure all of your passwords.

PEAR – This email service allows you to send secure email and attachments to anyone that has a University of Illinois Enterprise ID. Sending an email through PEAR is the same as most web-based email systems. You enter the recipient’s address, the body of your message and any attachments that you might need to send. Once you do that, PEAR will safely and securely store your email and attachments until your recipient logs in to retrieve them. Find more information at If the person that you are trying to get a file to does not have a University of Illinois Enterprise ID, then you will need to find an alternative secure means of getting them the sensitive data.

Webtools – Web Services at Public Affairs offers a variety of tools to help you achieve your communications goals. Training sessions for each of the tools is also offered. Create any of the following: Event Calendars, Blogs & Discussion Boards, Survey Builder, Form Builder, Skin Designer, List builder, Group Manager, eNewsletters, Text Messaging, and Short URL. Find more information at

Wikis – CITES offers Wiki space for any group on campus to use. Find more information about requesting a space at Note however that at this time there is no training available for creating Wikis, but online documentation is available.


Checklist for New Students - Every department will have slightly different requirements and priorities, but this checklist should assist in developing a checklist designed specifically for your department.

Checklist for Graduating Students - Each department will have somewhat different considerations and requirements, but this checklist should assist in developing a custom checklist designed specifically for your department.

Academic Human Resources maintains sample templates for assistantship offer letters.