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Real EIU Facts

Real EIU Facts

If you talk to students, alumni, faculty and staff of Eastern Illinois University, before long you’ll start to notice a common theme: family. When you attend or work at Eastern, you’re doing more than just going to classes or showing up to a job. You become part of a family that supports each other, in good times and bad.

Panther Pride doesn’t just have to do with athletics or wearing a blue shirt; it has to do with supporting each other – academically, personally, spiritually and sometimes even financially. Our impact can be local or global, but there is no doubt we have reason to be proud of being in this family that has produced some of the most impressive thinkers, workers and leaders the state of Illinois has ever seen.

Where We Are Now

Strong Academics

  • In U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings, EIU is No. 6 among the Midwest’s top public regional universities. EIU is the highest-ranking public university in Illinois on the list.
  • 98 percent of our classes are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants.
  • EIU is the home of the 2013 & 2011 Illinois Professor of the Year.
  • Our study abroad program is ranked one of the 50 best programs in America by Best College Reviews.
  • EIU’s retention rate, which reflects the percentage of new freshmen who return to EIU for a second year, is 7 percentage points higher than the national average.

Service Oriented

  • EIU has been named twice to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
  • Each year, the campus community devotes more than 10,000 hours to service; more than 75% of Eastern students participate in some form of volunteer civic engagement.
  • Eastern Illinois University is one of the 96 universities in the country partnering with NASPA’s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement to plan the future of civic engagement in higher education.  We are very proud to be a founding member of this team and one of the Lead Advisory Institutions.

A Great Value

  • Ranked as the 2nd “Most Affordable College Town in the Country” by Business Insiders in 2015.
  • With textbook prices having risen 1041% since 1977, textbook rental can save families a lot of money. Textbook rental saves the average student at Eastern more than $900 a year.
  • Washington Monthly has ranked EIU among the top ten “Best Bang for the Buck” colleges in the Midwest (out of more than 300).
  • Our in-state rates for border-state students brings in talent from all over the Midwest, not just Illinois. Residents of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin pay in-state tuition rates for undergraduate courses.
  • Eastern Illinois University has the lowest administrative cost per student among Illinois public universities, according to a recent report by the Illinois Auditor General.


  • Ranked as the 2nd “Safest College Town in America” by Safewise, using FBI crime statistics, for the second year in a row.

Veteran Friendly

  • EIU has been designated as a Military Friendly School by GI Jobs Magazine every year since the inception of the award in 2010.

Athletics/Academics Balance

  • Out of all schools in the Ohio Valley Conference, EIU had the most Medal of Honor Winners (35 student-athletes with a 4.0 GPA), as well as Commissioner’s Honor Roll honorees (136 student-athletes with a 3.25 or greater).
  • 69% of the student-athletes had a least a 3.0, with an average of 3.25 in spring 2015.
  • 60 student-athletes are enrolled in the Honors College.
  • EIU student-athletes had over 5,000 hours of community service activities this past year.

Alumni Success

  • Our alumni satisfaction rate is 98 percent after one year from graduation and 99 percent after nine years from graduation.
  • Ninety percent of our graduates secure work within 6 months of graduation or go on to attend graduate school.
  • See a selection of notable alumni.

Where We’re Going

As you probably well know, EIU’s administration and staff is working harder than ever to recruit future Panthers and making EIU the best it can be. We know there is increasing public scrutiny on higher education, and we want to make sure EIU is a viable and desirable option for students, faculty and staff with strong ties to our economy.

As the editors of Washington Monthly said in their college ranking issue, “In a time when researchers are increasingly questioning how much undergraduates actually learn while they’re in college, liberal arts schools often provide the intensive, personalized learning environments where students thrive.”

While remaining devoted to the residential college experience we are known for, we are currently working on developing and expanding programs that appeal to students who will be entering the job market in the future. Some of these include programs in digital media, neuroscience, construction management, and engineering technology.

Eastern is also continuing to work collaboratively with community colleges to help provide the best possible experience for the needs of all higher education students. Community colleges should not be competitors; rather, these institutions can work together as equally valuable tools to make Illinois’ students the best prepared in the nation for a changing economy.