I was accepted at U of I and trust me, it is nowhere near second in the nation. The school alone has a much better repuation itself, and I may actually be transferring there for urban and regional planning (or maybe going to DCA
or Embry Riddle for aviation management). Don't count on U of I unless you have 3.7/27. SIUC is a better aviation school, but the reputation of the school itself is not good, and the town isn't much to write home about.
Sovietjet, I would look at Parks college at SLU. It is a better all around school than Carbondale (town and school don't have best reputation) and U of I (aviation school not that good) for aviation, its in a fun city with lots to do, and its top notch for aviation.
BTW, my GPA was quite a bit higher but my ACT
was a little lower, U of I seems to go off of GPA more so I could have gotten a scholarship, but I opted for business at Indiana University.