The general answer is no, we don't give out accounts to outsiders. There are many commercial firms in the Chicagoland area that provide internet access (WWW, email, news, and so forth) for very reasonable prices, often around $20/month. As a state agency, we are not allowed to compete with these companies, and we don't have the capacity to do so.
We will make rare exceptions to this rule in special circumstances, but the person must have a reasonable connection to UIC, and the request must involve something not easily attainable from the commercial providers. So, for example, a professor from another university spending a sabbatical at UIC would certainly qualify for an account; but a private doctor with admission privileges at UIC Hospital who just wants to surf the internet should obtain a commercial account instead. Faculty retiring with Emeritus status are automatically excepted.
No, but there is often a grace period. Staff are given a 90 day grace period, and students are given one semester after the last semester they are registered. You will be sent email warning that your account will go away. Once the account is deleted, your files will not be available, and mail forwarding will not take place. It is very important that you save all the files you will need before your account is deleted, and that you make sure your correspondents (including LISTSERV lists) know that your mail address has changed.
In most cases, you can create your own account right now. Or look for the account section in the ACCC home page, or click on the account creation icon from a public lab. If this doesn't work, please call the consultants. Everyone with an account must be listed in our database. Students and staff are put there automatically, which is why they can create their own accounts. If you are not already listed, or if your information is incomplete, you must see the consultants to get the info updated properly.
Also, all account owners are bound by our Acceptable Use Policy, which is sent when an account is created.