Illinois State has welcomed our largest freshman class in 36 years. We enroll more than 20,900 students, while maintaining academic quality and small class sizes.
Bang for the Buck
Illinois State is ranked among the top universities for return on investment. U.S. News & World Report recognized the University as one of the Best Value Schools in the nation, and Washington Monthly included the University on the Best Bang for the Buck list in the Midwest. In addition, the University was also ranked among the top 30 percent of four-year higher education institutions for graduates’ return on investment.
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 81.3 percent, and our high graduation rate (66.3 percent) is well above the national average.
Top Public University
Washington Monthly ranked the University in the top 106 out of all public national universities for the institution's contribution to the public good through social mobility, research, and public services. Illinois State made U.S. News & World Report's 2024 rankings of America's top public schools, at No. 112. In addition, the University was ranked in the upper echelon of Money’s 2023 list of Best Colleges in America for quality education and affordability.
Illinois State provides accessible opportunity and increasingly reflects the nation's changing demographics. We enrolled our most diverse freshman class in school history this year with 41 percent of these students and nearly 32 percent of the total student population coming from traditionally underrepresented groups.
Illinois State University raised more than $34 million in private support, reaching its third highest private support total in university history. Through these donations, more than 3,350 scholarships were awarded last fiscal year and 76 new scholarships were created.
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, among the Best Places to Live in the United States, and one of the most affordable cities for college students.
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 (1.7 percent), which is below the national average (2.3 percent).
Military Friendly School
Illinois State supports veterans and those in the military. We are ranked a top 10 Military Friendly School by VIQTORY.
Civically Engaged Campus
Illinois State’s campuswide commitment to our core value of civic engagement has earned us recognition with the Elective Classification for Community Engagement, as an Excellence and Innovation Award for Civic Learning and Community Engagement recipient, and as a Voter Friendly Campus.