Need some help getting ready for College

So entering into senior year i did some research and finally decided to pursue Industrial Design. I always had an interest in the design of things but never knew what the major was called or what it really required. Well after not taking any art classes the first 3 years of high school i got into intro to art which is a very basic art class of all freshmen and myself (the only senior). I have taken 3 years of a computer/electronics classes but i don’t think they were beneficial at all.
Now i am trying to look at colleges and beginning to apply. I got a 27 on my ACT and am in the top 10% of my class. The problem is most of the notable art schools require a portfolio to get into their art/design programs. I have about a month to some colleges dead lines and i am totally lost when it comes to making a portfolio. I have drawn a lot in the past but i don’t know where to begin with a portfolio.
The 3 main schools i am looking at are University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois Chapaign/Urbana, and Cal State University Long Beach. I live in the chicago land area and UIC doesn’t require a portfolio and has a nice reputation around here. U of I requires a portfolio but i believe was ranked in the top 10 of art/design schools or something like that. CSU LB i visited for a weekend (my cousin goes there and my mom’s a flight attendant, free trip!) i loved the campus but it was actually not fully open when i visited so i didn’t get any real information. CSU LB doesn’t require a portfolio but it’s mostly a commuter school and i feel that if i lived there it would be hard to make a new group of friends with 93% of the students being commuters.
So i’m pretty lost and i know time is running out (U of I app deadline nov 1) I just need some people to help clear up the confusion and give me some advice on the colleges. I really would appreciate any help.

I would go to CSU at Long Beach… I’ve seen some great designers from that program (but have never heard of the others you mention), as you put in years at the university you’ll have a good local employment network, and it’s California!

Andy Logan went there, enough said… Andy Logan, Founder & Creative Director, AWOL Company in Calabasas, CA

yea thats what i’m leaning towards CSU LB. And i figured california is a prime location for employment and oppurtunities.

You sound like the same boat i was in senior year. I took art classes in high school and my teacher told my about industrial design. I too though only had a portfolio of fine art and not necessarily “design” work. I am now an Industrial Design student at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I saw that was one of your choices and thought you should know i absolutely love it. When applying to Illinois, You can submit a portfolio of fine art such as paintings and drawings. You don’t get accepted into the Industrial Design program right away. Your freshman year you take foundation design and drawing classes to build a basic portfolio to show progress and development and have to apply to your major the end of your freshman year. Its a very competitive process but that is also was brings prestige to our program.