Higher Education Rankings in Illinois

Higher Education 
“U.S. News” sharply increases ranking of SIU Carbondale campus. The national ranking system for institutions of higher education raised the standing of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The campus, which had been ranked as the 189th best campus in the United States, jumped to 153rd. The upward change of 36 notches was the largest increase seen in Illinois in 2015 and was one of the largest increases on the annual list.

The U.S. News and World Reports Best College Rankings include a widely-followed index of colleges classified as “National Universities.” This classification covers a variety of four-year institutions connected to public and private universities, such as SIU, that specialize in research and high-level professional training.

University of Chicago (U of C) scores big on “U.S. News” ranking. The private university, located on Chicago’s South Side, tied for 4th in the National Universities rankings. It was the highest rank granted to any school in the Midwest. The University of Chicago’s national ranking puts it on the same level as the Ivy League’s Columbia University and California’s Stanford.

Other Illinois universities scored well on the U.S. News ranking sheet in 2015. Evanston’s Northwestern was ranked 12th, tied with the Ivy League’s Dartmouth. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was ranked 41st, tied with five schools that included Tulane and Wisconsin/Madison.

2015 fall semester sees the second-largest freshman class in University of Illinois (UIUC) history. The 7,565 incoming students that have signed up to begin their class work this fall have created a headcount that is second only to the 7,583 students of 2005. The overall 2015-16 enrollment of 44,087 – a number that includes both undergraduate and graduate students – is up more than 1 percent from the 43,602 students who signed up in fall 2014. The University of Illinois reported that the percentage of students who are Illinois residents is up from last year.

Fall enrollment at the University of Illinois’ Springfield campus is also close to a record this year, with an enrollment count of 5,402 students – down slightly from the 2014 record total of 5,431. The former Springfield-based Sangamon State University was added to the University of Illinois system in 1995 to create the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), now in its 20th year of operation.