2017 Best Colleges in Illinois

The Best Colleges ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares more than 1,000 top colleges and universities in the U.S.
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  • By State
Viewing 1-25 of 59
  1. 1

    University of Chicago

    • Chicago, IL
    • 1,101 reviews
    College Sophomore:Chicago lives up to its standards of being diverse, academically rigourous, and a safe place for inquiry of all kinds. My experience so far has been fantastic, and I'm excited to come back for three more years.
    More about University of Chicago
  2. 2

    Northwestern University

    • Evanston, IL
    • 1,236 reviews
    College Senior:Northwestern has given me the opportunities to learn professional skills outside of the classroom through networking, internships, and student group participation.
    More about Northwestern University
  3. 3
    College Junior:I personally enjoy my studies at the University of Illinois. I'm enjoying being independent and living on my own, and I also like the flexibility of choosing when my classes are.
    More about University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  4. 4

    Wheaton College - Illinois

    • Wheaton, IL
    • 552 reviews
    College Sophomore:Even though it's considered a conservative Christian college, there is a lot of diversity among the student culture, in both ethnicity and ideas. It is a great place to expand your knowledge through dorm room conversations alone, yet the classroom is even greater for learning. The professors are great at being available for help, but their classes are also challenging enough to allow for growth. Yet academics are not the only good thing about Wheaton. It's close proximity to Chicago allows students some very unique and informative experiences. The student life on campus is also great at developing the community as a whole.
    More about Wheaton College - Illinois
  5. 5

    Illinois Wesleyan University

    • Bloomington, IL
    • 550 reviews
    College Junior:The academics at IWU are excellent! There are plenty of courses and majors to choose from and there are also many opportunities outside the classroom.
    More about Illinois Wesleyan University
  6. 6

    Illinois Institute of Technology

    • Chicago, IL
    • 560 reviews
    College Junior:My school provides me a really good place to study. The teachers are really nice here, and also did a really good job. Although, if I could do it all over, maybe I wouldn't choose this school again. Because this school is a small institute. I just want to take part in a big university, meeting kinds of school mate. I think it must be a lot fun. All in all, my school is great, it's me that want to experience a more colorful life.
    More about Illinois Institute of Technology
  7. 7

    Augustana College - Illinois

    • Rock Island, IL
    • 634 reviews
    College Junior:Augustana is a small community campus that allows the liberal education to be spread evenly. Due to the community that Augustana gives, you really get to know those in your major, activities and all the faculty which makes it feel very comfortable right from the start. Both sciences and literature majors are highly prepared for their futures with tons of hands on that Augie gives with labs, study abroad and help with internships that other small undergraduate schools don't have. Augustana is great if you are looking for a small undergraduate that will prepare you for the next step.
    More about Augustana College - Illinois
  8. 8

    DePaul University

    • Chicago, IL
    • 3,157 reviews
    College Junior:DePaul loves transfer students like myself, the transition was very easy and overall I felt very welcome. The transfer student orientation was tailored to our needs and all issues smoothed over as efficiently as possible.
    More about DePaul University
  9. 9

    Bradley University

    • Peoria, IL
    • 1,021 reviews
    College Sophomore:I got an internship right away. The job and internship fair is great and the staff prepares you ahead of time for interviews and will give you all the resources you need if you seek them out. There's not enough job opportunities on campus but there's plenty for those with work study. Generally, Bradley assures you will get a job right out of college but you still have to work for it.
    More about Bradley University
  10. 10

    University of Illinois at Chicago

    • Chicago, IL
    • 2,715 reviews
    College Junior:There's a lot of resources and emphasis on having experience in research since this is a research based university. A lot of career workshops are held as well as businesses that come to the university to promote their businesses and share opportunities of applying and devloping students' potential careers based on their field of study/interest.
    More about University of Illinois at Chicago
  11. 11

    Illinois College

    • Jacksonville, IL
    • 312 reviews
    College Freshman:I like the major so the workload isn't bad because I like to write and read. The oppurtunities around campus are also great, we have the writing center and also things to do like reading nights, ect.
    More about Illinois College
  12. 12

    Loyola University Chicago

    • Chicago, IL
    • 2,506 reviews
    College Junior:Whereas some schools focus on entrepreneurial, athletic, or intellectual development, Loyola University Chicago focuses on entrusting students with promoting social justice values through Jesuit education. The Jesuit brand is more than a superficial one. Like the Quaker schools common in the northeast, Jesuit schools create a learning environment characterized by hospitality, community service, and reflection. You will be expected to perform a lot of reflection at Loyola University Chicago.
    More about Loyola University Chicago
  13. 13

    Moody Bible Institute

    • Chicago, IL
    • 429 reviews
    College Freshman:I believe my college is the perfect place for me. It's not perfect, but for me, it's where I should be. I am being academically and spiritually challenged. I think most colleges promise things they can't uphold. This college is different, it's special. My college doesn't just care about the social, academic and physical well-being of their students, it cares about their souls too. That, to me, is more than any college student can ask for. Here, we have life!
    More about Moody Bible Institute
  14. 14

    Knox College

    • Galesburg, IL
    • 432 reviews
    College Junior:It's great but not excellent. I feel that the school needs to add more courses and Majors. However, even if they do not have the major you want, you can create your own self-designed Major.
    More about Knox College
  15. 15

    Illinois State University

    • Normal, IL
    • 2,505 reviews
    College Junior:My school is only about an hour away from my home, which is nice to be able to see my family whenever I want. It has great programs for both of my majors, Art and Education. All of the teachers are amazing and always there to help their students however they can. The school spirit here is pretty great.
    More about Illinois State University
  16. 16

    Lake Forest College

    • Lake Forest, IL
    • 404 reviews
    Recent Alumnus:I enjoyed my time at LFC because of the support provided to the students.


    - Professors willing to put in extra time and effort

    - Athletics and facilities

    - Beautiful campus close to Lake Michigan beaches

    - New dorm halls

    - Other students

    - Diverse backgrounds


    - Rick Cohen

    - Parking restrictions

    - Parking spaces

    - Cigarettes littered from smokers

    - Stacy oliver

    - Old dorm halls with no AC

    - Not enough room in the library

    - The sports teams should be better
    More about Lake Forest College
  17. 17

    University of Illinois at Springfield

    • Springfield, IL
    • 405 reviews
    College Senior:I am happy that I chose to attend the University of Illinois at Springfield because I have met some amazing people and took some very interesting classes. Although I am pleased with the choice I made, I can say that if given the opportunity, I would probably have chosen a different school. I am satisfied with the distance from home but not the atmosphere on campus.
    More about University of Illinois at Springfield
  18. 18

    Dominican University

    • River Forest, IL
    • 596 reviews
    College Junior:It's small, but has a great sense of community. The staff and faculty truly care about the students and do their best to help the students grow.
    More about Dominican University
  19. 19

    McKendree University

    • Lebanon, IL
    • 427 reviews
    College Senior:McKendree University is a D2 private university in a small town. It has the laid back and family like atmosphere with bigger cities nearby - Fairview Heights, O'Fallon, St. Louis. Small class sizes allows you to get to know your professors and your classmates. D2 athletics means both academic and athletic scholarships are available. The faculty really does seem to care about your future and want you to get the most out of your McKendree experience. There are a lot of opportunities to get involved and stand out on campus.
    More about McKendree University
  20. 20
    College Sophomore:I love the people within Elementary Ed, they are easy to work with and very understanding of all situations. Workload is not too bad but they do require your absolute commitment.
    More about University of St. Francis - Illinois
  21. 21

    Eastern Illinois University

    • Charleston, IL
    • 1,166 reviews
    College Sophomore:My professors I have had were very accommodating to me. Most know I have a depression and anxiety disorder and they did everything to make sure I was okay.
    More about Eastern Illinois University
  22. 22

    Monmouth College

    • Monmouth, IL
    • 503 reviews
    College Senior:Monmouth College has the most beautiful campus I have ever encountered. Being covered with trees in the heart of the Midwest, the college goes from blossom filled spring to gloriously sunny summer to fiery autumn to a hilly winter wonderland, sometimes all in one month. The classes and campus is small enough that the professors genuinely know their students; sometimes even professors you've never had are aware of you and your accomplishments. The band programs are run by the most dedicated and energetic man ever, Professor M. Wanken, and they wouldn't have gotten this far without him. Prof. Wanken is even taking the Winds Ensemble on a tour of Ireland next spring break. Dr. Bridget Draxler makes the Writing Center a home for both tutors and students seeking help alike. The offices of the English department, my department, are always open for advice, homework help, or just chatting about life in general. Monmouth has it's fair share of jerks and intolerance, but so does every school in every state. Some people are just not nice. Despite that, Monmouth College has been my home for the past 3 years and will continue to be so for a long time to come. It's great to be a Scot!
    More about Monmouth College
  23. 24

    Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

    • Edwardsville, IL
    • 1,398 reviews
    College Junior:It's a great school for education, things can get boring at times but depending on the clubs or teams you join you can have a lot of things to do and a good time.
    More about Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  24. 25

    Olivet Nazarene University

    • Bourbonnais, IL
    • 1,212 reviews
    College Sophomore:The Christian atmosphere at the school is phenomenal. All the sports pray before each game or match. The professors are here to help you and your not just a number to them.
    More about Olivet Nazarene University