Top Public University
Illinois State made U.S. News & World Report's 2022 rankings of America's best public national universities, at No. 104, based on academic quality and excellence. In addition, Washington Monthly ranked the University No. 62 out of all national universities for the institution's contribution to the public good through social mobility, research, and public services.
High Retention and Graduation Rates
Illinois State students complete their degrees on time. ISU's retention rate remains among the highest in the nation at over 83.2 percent, and our high graduation rate (67.3 percent) is well above the national average.
Illinois State has welcomed another large and high-achieving freshman class. We enroll more than 20,200 students, while maintaining academic quality and small class sizes.
Illinois State provides accessible opportunity and increasingly reflects the nation's changing demographics. Twenty-eight percent of our student population and 35 percent of this year's freshman class come from underrepresented groups.
Bang for the Buck
Illinois State is ranked among the top 10 percent of College Factual's Best Colleges for the Money. In addition, Washington Monthly named the University among the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges in the Midwest. The University was also ranked among the top 30 percent of four-year higher education institutions for graduates’ return on investment.
Illinois State University raised more than $31.2 million in private support last fiscal year, reaching its third highest private support total in university history. Through these donations, more than 2,700 scholarships were awarded last fiscal year and 89 new scholarships were created.
High Student Loan Repayment Rate
Illinois State alumni go on to successful careers, shown in the very low student loan default rate of our graduates (3.6 percent) compared with the national average (7.3 percent).
Military Friendly School
Top College Town
Bloomington-Normal ranks as one of the top 5 college towns in America based on its quality of life and among the nation's best small cities for affordability, arts and entertainment opportunities, and safety. The University's hometown was also ranked as one of the Best College Towns in America and among the Best Places to Live in the United States.
Civically Engaged Campus
Illinois State has been recognized with the Elective Classification for Community Engagement, as a Excellence and Innovation Award for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, and as a Voter Friendly Campus. These honors demonstrate our campuswide commitment to civic engagement, a core value of the University.