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Top Illinois Colleges

12 of the Top Colleges in Illinois

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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.

Compare Top Illinois Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

Augustana College

Augustana College, Old Main
Photo Courtesy of Augustana College

DePaul University

DePaul University
puroticorico / Flickr

Illinois College

Illinois College - Sturtevant Hall
Photo Courtesy of Illinois College

Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology
John Picken / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 7,453 (2,639 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

Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan University
soundfromwayout / Flickr

Knox College

Knox College
iagoarchangel / Flickr

Lake Forest College

Young Hall at Lake Forest College
Royalhawai / Wikimedia Commons

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago
Special*Dark / Flickr
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Enrollment: 15,670 (10,124 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Catholic research university
  • Distinctions: one of the top Catholic universities; strong business school; chapter of  Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; northern campus on the Chicago waterfront and a downtown campus just off the Magnificent Mile; Ramblers competes in the NCAA Division I Horizon League
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Loyola University Chicago profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT Graph for Loyola Admissions

Northwestern University

Northwestern University Marching Band
powerbooktrance / Flickr

University of Chicago

University of Chicago
puroticorico / Flickr

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
sirmikester / Flickr

Wheaton College

Wheaton College, Illinois
DiscoverDuPage / Flickr
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