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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


  • Ranked #22 in the “Safest Cities in Illinois” by Safewise.
  • Ranked as the 2nd “Most Affordable College Town in the Country” by Business Insiders in 2015.

A Great Value

  • With textbook prices having risen 1041% since 1977, text book 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 “Bang for the Buck” colleges in the Midwest in their annual higher education rankings.
  • 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.

Strong Academics

  • In U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings (9/2015), EIU is No. 5 among the Midwest’s top public regional universities. Eastern also was ranked 30 among all Midwestern regional universities offering a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs. EIU is the highest ranking public university in Illinois on the list.
  • 98 percent of our classes are taught by faculty, not teaching assistants.
  • Eastern is a leader in preparing undergraduates to earn doctoral degrees. Among similar institutions (those with a master's as their highest degree), EIU is ranked the highest in Illinois and is in the top 6% nationwide.
  • 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.
  • Seventy-three U.S. colleges and universities have been identified as "lead institutions" by NASPA -- Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and have been asked to participate in a national initiative on civic learning and democratic engagement. EIU is honored to be one of those 73.
  • Eastern Illinois University is one of the elite 50 Universities in the country that are partnering with NASPA to plan, discuss and lead the conversations about current trends and the future of civic engagement in higher education.  We are very proud to be a founding member of this team and are thrilled to retain our Lead Institute position for this year. (2015-2016)

Veteran Friendly

  • US News ranked us No. 2 in the Midwest.
  • EIU has been designated as a Military Friendly School by GI Jobs Magazine every year since the inception of the award in 2010.

Intercollegiate Athletics (Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Awards)

  • 134 Student-Athletes were recognized on the Commissioner’s Honor Roll (3.25 GPA or higher).
  • 35 Student-Athletes were recognized given the OVC Medal of Honor for a 4.0 GPA.
  • EIU had the most Medal of Honor Winners and Commissioner’s Honor Roll honorees in the OVC.
  • 63% of the student-athletes had a least a 3.0 in the spring 2015 semester.
  • 55 student-athletes are enrolled in the Honor’s College.


  • 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 are currently working to make the University financially sustainable, as well as continuing to recruit future Panthers. 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 further offerings in health sciences related fields, computer sciences and criminology.

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 and universities 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.

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