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Best Colleges & Universities in Illinois
Top Consensus Ranked Schools 2018

Illinois consensus badge

To identify the Best Colleges in Illinois for 2018 we averaged the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores from around the web to produce a unique College Consensus rating for each school. You won’t find a more comprehensive ranking of the top colleges and universities in Illinois anywhere. Read more about our rankings methodology and sources at our about page.

1

University of Chicago

79.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
82.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
77
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

2

Northwestern University

75.6
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
75.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
75.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

3

Wheaton College (IL)

73
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
64
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
82
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

4

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

70
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
63.1
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

5

Knox College

68.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
60.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
77
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

6

Bradley University

68.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
63.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

7

University of St Francis

68.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
60
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
76.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

8

Dominican University

65
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
62.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

9

Trinity Christian College

64.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
57.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

10

Illinois Wesleyan University

64.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
60.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

11

Lake Forest College

63.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
54.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

12

University of Illinois at Springfield

63.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

13

Augustana College

63.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53.3
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
73
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

13

Lewis University

63.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
61.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
64.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

15

Eastern Illinois University

62.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
72.4
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

15

Eureka College

62.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
56
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

17

Judson University

62.5
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
74
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

18

Olivet Nazarene University

62.2
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
53.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
70.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

19

Elmhurst College

61.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
54.8
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

19

Millikin University

61.8
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
54
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
69.5
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

21

North Central College

61.7
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
54.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
68.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

22

DePaul University

61.3
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
50.7
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
71.8
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

23

Quincy University

59.9
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
49.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
70.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

24

Loyola University Chicago

59.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51.2
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67.6
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

24

McKendree University

59.4
COLLEGE CONSENSUS
51.5
PUBLISHER CONSENSUS
67.3
STUDENT CONSENSUS
Accessed July, 2018

The state of Illinois illustrates the concept of the American melting pot, forged over the last 200 years into a diverse, culturally complex vision of the past and future – European-American, African-American, Asian-American, Native American, Hispanic-American, all drawn to the opportunity the Great Plains and Great Lakes afforded. Illinois is urban and rural, from the mega-metropolis of Chicago (the third-largest economy in the US), to Southern Illinois’ vast forests and natural resources; from the small industrial cities that made Illinois a center of manufacturing, to the farms and ranches that made it prime Corn Belt and cattle country.

The best colleges and universities in Illinois follow the same pattern, bringing together people from across Illinois, the US, and the world to earn their credentials, expand their minds, and build a society for the future. With some of the world’s foremost programs in medicine, business, technology, agriculture, and engineering, Illinois’ best colleges and universities are actively driving the future forward, preparing a professional workforce that can compete in today’s job market and create tomorrow’s.

The Best Colleges in Illinois – Transforming the Prairie State

For prospective Illinois college students, there is a wealth of opportunity, and the support they need – whether traditional-aged young people, or working adults and career-changing professionals – to make their own mark on Illinois history. From the major public research institutions, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and UI Chicago, innovative schools at the forefront of social science, computing, and engineering, to the majestic University of Chicago and Northwestern University, two of the world’s most elite and influential private research institutions, Illinois has every level of higher education covered in kind (and some of the best campus rec centers in the nation). They are not only some of the highest-performing centers for research, and models of academic excellence and accomplishment; these top-tier universities are also deeply connected throughout Illinois and the US, providing graduates entry into their careers. Together, these institutions have graduated many of the state’s leaders, from government and business to the arts and science.

Illinois’ many regional public universities do a lot of the heavy lifting, training a professional and technical workforce for all of Illinois’ sectors. From Chicago to southern Illinois, the state colleges and universities make sure that there are managers, nurses, teachers, and leaders throughout the state who can continue Illinois’ history of development. Illinois has eleven colleges recognized by the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification, noted for their commitment to improving the community and providing educational outreach. To make an even greater impact on the lives of Illinois’ working adults and career-changers, the best colleges in Illinois have made a real investment in online education, especially in areas like nursing and management, where many programs have national ranking.

With a large Catholic population, Illinois is also home to some of the top Catholic liberal arts colleges in the US; Loyola University Chicago, the University of St. Francis, Dominican University, and Lewis University are just a few of them. Besides the many Catholic institutions, Illinois has a wealth of Christian and secular liberal arts colleges, all marked by a dedication to student success, personal development, and service. In fact, Blackburn College – one of just a handful of federally-recognized work colleges – allows students from Illinois to attend college for free, in exchange for working an on-campus job. Student life is also a priority in Illinois’ schools, including some of the best college dining halls and best college dorms in the country. That kind of focus on the needs of Illinois’ people is just part of what has made Illinois one of the top states for higher education.

America’s Future Looks a Lot Like Illinois

So what does the future look like for the best colleges in Illinois? Surprisingly, Illinois is one of the few highly-populated states in the US that has actually declined in population (from 5th largest to 6th), but that hasn’t put a damper on higher education. Illinois’ top colleges are still growing and developing, earning their reputations as national and international leaders. A diverse population, including a high proportion of students of color, is driven by demographic changes in the state; in fact, the number of minority students in Illinois public schools is expected to surpass Caucasian students very soon. Preparing young people for college, and finding better methods of helping students pay for college, are going to be among Illinois’ most important responsibilities in the years to come. But the state that has historically had a home for all is up to the task.