Illinois Wesleyan stands out among the thousands of colleges and universities in the
nation, compared on a wide range of factors by a growing number of publishers. (While we have good reason to brag, we believe the very best way to judge your best-fit
college is to visit campus.)
What Others Say About Us
Great College for Getting a Job
Illinois Wesleyan University ranks ＃7 in the nation and ＃1 in Illinois on Zippia's
2020 list of The Best Colleges for Getting a Job, as well as #5 in the nation for Best Small Colleges for Jobs based on Department of Education College Scorecard data.
No. 4 in Nation – 'Incredible Liberal Arts Colleges On the Rise'
Illinois Wesleyan is No. 4 in the nation on College Gazette 's list of 10 Incredible Liberal Arts Colleges On the Rise , based on "amazing success over the past 15 years" in programs, student/alumni accomplishments,
faculty accolades and other similar metrics.
College Gazette, 2019
Top 100 Private Liberal Arts Colleges
In its Best College Values for 2019, Kiplinger ranks Illinois Wesleyan in the top 100 among the nation's private liberal arts colleges.
This marks the 12th consecutive year that Illinois Wesleyan has been included among
the national leaders in this ranking of academic quality and affordability.
Kiplinger's Personal Finance, 2019
In its first-ever college ranking, The Economist named Illinois Wesleyan graduates as top earners nationally and in Illinois, with
$54,600 median earnings compared to the average college graduate’s $42,751.
Based on an analysis of a broad range of data in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, The Economist ranked Illinois Wesleyan graduates as 1st of any Illinois institution and in the
top 6 percent nationally among 1,275 four-year colleges and universities.
The Economist, 2015
Top 7% Nationally for Low Loan Default Rate
Illinois Wesleyan University was ranked by lendedu.com in the top 7% nationally for all colleges and universities for lowest loan default
Illinois Wesleyan is ranked 135 among 968 institutions nationally in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education 2019 rankings – placing the University among the Journal 's top tier in the increasingly competitive field of higher education. IWU earned
high scores for resources, based on the faculty-student ratio and finances per student; outcomes, based on graduation rates, graduate salaries and loan repayment rates; and engagement , based on student surveys.
Wall Street Journal/ Times Higher Education, 2019
#6 Best Colleges & Universities in Illinois
Illinois Wesleyan is No. 6 on WalletHub's ranking of the Best Colleges & Universities in Illinois and No. 29 on WalletHub's ranking of the Best Colleges in the U.S. Their analysts compared primarily undergraduate colleges across 26 key measures
to determine where prospective students can expect to receive top-notch education
at the lowest price points. Metrics ranged from student-faculty ratio to graduation
rate to post-attendance median salary.
#2 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Illinois
Top Best Value Colleges in Illinois
SmartAsset looked at retention, scholarships and salary to determine which schools
return the best value to students, and ranked Illinois Wesleyan among the top 10 Best Value Colleges in Illinois.
#5 - Best Colleges in Illinois
Illinois Wesleyan University is named No. 5 among the 25 Best Colleges in Illinois, in a ranking based on academic quality, affordability, and return on investment
(how much you’ll end up paying for college versus what you can expect to earn once
College Choice, 2020
Best College for Your Money
Illinois Wesleyan is among MONEY Magazine's Best Colleges 2020, a listing of the schools that successfully combine quality and affordability. Money
weighed more than 20,000 data points, including tuition fees, family borrowing, and
Illinois Wesleyan is listed on Forbes' Grateful Grads 2019 , an index of alumni success and happiness based on giving back to support their
Top College Value
In Money's 2020 Best Colleges list, Illinois Wesleyan ranked #250 out of 739 for best colleges in America based
Emphasis on Creativity and Spirit of Inquiry
The Fiske Guide to Colleges describes Illinois Wesleyan as a college with an emphasis on creativity and the spirit
of inquiry. "The school provides a multitude of paths down which one can travel and
it is up to the student to decide which path to take," one student reported. "IWU
allows you to become who you want to be, but only if you let it."
Fiske Guide to Colleges, 2019
Top Tier Institution
A top-tier institution, Illinois Wesleyan ranked No. 80 among national liberal arts
colleges in the U.S. News & World Report 2020 rankings of “ Best Colleges. ” Illinois Wesleyan consistently ranks high in graduation and retention rates and
small class sizes, which are key measures of quality and value. In addition, IWU is
ranked among Best Value Schools – those with highly ranked academics and a low net cost of attendance after need-based
financial aid. Illinois Wesleyan is also listed among the Top Performers on Social Mobility , based on opportunities and outcomes for economically disadvantaged students.
U.S. News & World Report, 2020
Illinois Wesleyan has been included in The Princeton Review's annual listing of Best Colleges every year since the list's inception in 1989. Students surveyed describe Illinois
Wesleyan as “a small school that oozes big opportunities,” where they feel confident
about getting a job straight out of college.
The Princeton Review, 2020
No. 10 Best College in the Midwest
Business Insider named Illinois Wesleyan University the No. 10 college in the Midwest, after noting
that many of its top 100 schools fell in this region and deserved additional notice.
Their rankings highlight schools that provide a quality education and graduate students
on time, set graduates up to earn well-paying jobs early in their career, and create
a memorable and enjoyable campus experience.
Business Insider, 2016
Colleges of Distinction
Illinois Wesleyan is described as "a true renaissance university where students are encouraged to explore all of their interests," and "Students have
a host of compelling opportunities to enrich their education with off-campus experiences
that might involve spending a year at Pembroke College/Oxford University or perhaps
a semester in Washington D.C. through American University."
Colleges of Distinction, 2021
Outstanding but Underappreciated
Jay Mathews, educational columnist for The Washington Post , ranked Illinois Wesleyan 10th on a list of 100 "outstanding but underappreciated"
colleges in the United States. His book, Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That Is Best for
You , was published in 2003 by Prima Publishing. In 2012, Matthews revisited these top
10 colleges in his column in The Washington Post.
The Washington Post, 2012
Best Kept Secret
Author Peter Arango wrote, "If this book accomplished nothing other than bringing
Illinois Wesleyan to the attention of the college bound, I would be delighted. Not
only is Illinois Wesleyan the model of the effective, responsive, well designed, thoroughly
successful small liberal arts college/university, it is also an institution that hums
with positive energy and which engenders deep feelings of attachment and loyalty among
its students and graduates. I won't say that this is a university that time forgot
(many of its buildings are state-of-the-art), but there is a sense of mutual respect
and affection that sets this solid college apart from many of its peers."
America's Best Kept College Secrets, 2019
Most Accessible & Affordable
Accessible & Full of Opportunities
Illinois Wesleyan is included in the College Access & Opportunity Guide, a group of
roughly 260 colleges committed to serving and supporting first-generation, low-income,
and minority students on their campus and in their community.
College Access & Opportunity Guide
ScholarMatch named Illinois Wesleyan to its College Honor Roll of schools offering excellent opportunities for low-income and first-generation students.
Public data from the federal government and other public college data collection sites
were used to evaluate 1,400 schools in areas of financial aid, academic strength,
student support services, and post-graduate success – with specific consideration
given to low-income students’ needs.
Scholar Match, 2016
Best Colleges Without Application Fees & Hidden Gem in the Midwest
Illinois Wesleyan University was ranked among the Top 25 Best Colleges Without Application Fees in 2020 and #2 among Hidden Gems in the Midwest | 2020 and 2021 rankings. These selections recognize Illinois Wesleyan as a leading
institution in the country based on factors including graduation rates, campus diversity,
endowment per student, and other key metrics as reported via the National Center for
Education Statistics (NCES).
College Raptor, 2020, 2021
Best By Region
Best Liberal Arts College
Illinois Wesleyan is No. 1 on the Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Illinois and among the Best Small Colleges in America , based on analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from
the U.S. Department of Education, along with reviews from students and alumni.
Best Colleges in Illinois
Illinois Wesleyan University is No. 9 among the Best Colleges in Illinois , using recent government data to analyze the most important school performance markers,
including acceptance, retention, graduation and enrollment rates. These metrics indicate
a university’s overall quality and help determine which schools best prepare students
for their professional careers.
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