Top Illinois Colleges

12 of the Best Colleges and Universities in Illinois

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Grove, Allen. "Top Illinois Colleges." ThoughtCo, Jun. 23, 2017, thoughtco.com/top-illinois-colleges-788308. Grove, Allen. (2017, June 23). Top Illinois Colleges. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-illinois-colleges-788308 Grove, Allen. "Top Illinois Colleges." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-illinois-colleges-788308 (accessed September 23, 2017).

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 they are simply listed below alphabetically rather forced 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.

Compare Top Illinois Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

Augustana College, Illinois
Augustana College, Illinois. Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons
More »
DePaul University in Chicago
DePaul University in Chicago. Richie Diesterheft / Flickr
More »
Sturtevant Hall at Illinois College
Sturtevant Hall at Illinois College. Illinois College / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Jacksonville, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 955 (952 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 13 to 1 student/faculty ratio; oldest college in Illinois; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; good value
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs, and other information, visit the Illinois College profile.
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Illinois College Admissions
More »
IIT, Illinois Institute of Technology
IIT, Illinois Institute of Technology. Lucia Sanchez / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
  • 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
More »
The Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan University
The Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan University. Jason Howell / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Location: Bloomington, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 1,842 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 11 to 1 student/faculty ratio; average class size of 17; high retention and graduation rates; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs, and other information, visit the Illinois Wesleyan University profile.
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Illinois Wesleyan Admissions
More »
Knox College
Knox College. Jeff Hitchcock / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
  • Location: Galesburg, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 1,397 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 11 to 1 student/faculty ratio; average class size of 18; founded in 1837 by anti-slavery reformers; chapter of  Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; good grant aid and educational value
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs, and other information, visit the Knox College profile.
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Knox Admissions
More »
Young Hall at Lake Forest College
Young Hall at Lake Forest College. Royalhawai / Wikipedia
More »
Cudahy Science Hall at Loyola University Chicago
Cudahy Science Hall at Loyola University Chicago. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin
More »
Northwestern University
Northwestern University. Photo Credit: Amy Jacobson
  • Location: Evanston, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 21,655 (8,839 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private research university
  • Distinctions: one of the most selective of all Illinois colleges; membership in the Association of American Universities for research strengths; one of the top U.S. universities; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; member of the NCAA Division I Big Ten athletic conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs, and other information, visit the Northwestern University profile.
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Northwestern Admissions
More »
University of Chicago
University of Chicago. Luiz Gadelha Jr. / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 15,391 (5,883 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private research university
  • Distinctions: strong first-year student housing system; one of the most selective Illinois colleges; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; member of the Association of American Universities for research strengths; one of the top U.S. universities
  • Explore the Campus: University of Chicago Photo Tour
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs, and other information, visit the University of Chicago profile.
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for University of Chicago Admissions
More »
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UIUC
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UIUC. Christopher Schmidt / Flickr
  • Location: Urbana and Champaign, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 45,842 (33,368 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public research university
  • Distinctions: one of the top public universities; one of the top engineering schools; member of the Association of American Universities for research strengths; chapter of  Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; member of the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference
  • Explore the Campus: UIUC Photo Tour
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the UIUC profile.
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for UIUC Admissions
More »
Wheaton College Illinois
Wheaton College Illinois. Teemu008 / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Location: Wheaton, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 2,929 (2,463 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Christian liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: one of the 40 schools featured by Loren Pope in Colleges that Change Lives; 11 to 1 student/faculty ratio; interdenominational with students from over 55 church denominations; highly ranked liberal arts college
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs, and other information, visit the Wheaton College profile.
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Wheaton Admissions
More »

Calculate Your Chances

Calculate Your Chances of Being Admitted
Calculate Your Chances of Being Admitted.

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.

More Top Colleges and Universities

For more option near Illinois, check out these 30 top colleges in the Midwest.

To explore top colleges and universities across the United States, check out these articles of top picks: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective