Top Illinois Colleges

12 of the Best Colleges and Universities in Illinois

More Top Ranked Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective

Illinois has some excellent options for higher education. From giant research universities to small liberal arts colleges, from rural schools to Chicago campuses, Illinois offers something for everyone. The 12 top Illinois colleges listed below vary so much in size and type of school that I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking. Schools were selected based on a range of factors including retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, value and financial aid, student engagement, and academic strengths.

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Augustana College, Illinois
Augustana College, Illinois. Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons

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DePaul University
DePaul University. puroticorico / Flickr

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Illinois College - Sturtevant Hall
Illinois College - Sturtevant Hall. Photo Courtesy of Illinois College

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Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology. John Picken / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 7,792 (2,989 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private research university with science and engineering focus
  • Distinctions: strong architecture and engineering programs; located adjacent to the White Sox stadium; most students receive significant grant aid; good educational value
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Illinois Institute of Technology profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for IIT Admissions

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Illinois Wesleyan University
Illinois Wesleyan University. soundfromwayout / Flickr

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Knox College
Knox College. iagoarchangel / Flickr

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Young Hall at Lake Forest College
Young Hall at Lake Forest College. Royalhawai / Wikimedia Commons

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Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago. Special*Dark / Flickr

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Northwestern University Marching Band
Northwestern University Marching Band. powerbooktrance / Flickr

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University of Chicago
University of Chicago. puroticorico / Flickr

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University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. sirmikester / Flickr

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Wheaton College, Illinois
Wheaton College, Illinois. DiscoverDuPage / Flickr

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Se​e if you have the grades and test scores you need to get into one of these top Illinois schools with this free tool from Cappex: Calculate Your Chances of Getting In