Top Public University
Illinois State made U.S. News & World Report's 2021 rankings of America's best public national universities, at No. 105, 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 84.2 percent, and our high graduation rate (68.1 percent) is well above the national average.
Illinois State has welcomed another large and high-achieving freshman class. We enroll more than 20,700 students, while maintaining academic quality and small class sizes.
Illinois State provides accessible opportunity and increasingly reflects the nation's changing demographics. Twenty-seven percent of our student population and 31 percent of this year's freshman class come from underrepresented groups.
Bang for the Buck
Illinois State has concluded its largest fundraising campaign, raising $180.9 million during the seven years of Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State and more than $24.3 million last fiscal year, the third highest annual total in the University’s history.
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 (4.4 percent) compared with the national average (9.7 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 has also ranked as a top 5 destination among smaller communities in the U.S. for recent college grads.
Illinois State is one of about 350 institutions nationwide to hold the prestigious Elective Classification for Community Engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The honor recognizes our campuswide commitment to civic engagement, a core value of the University.