Eastern Illinois University continues to be the highest ranking Illinois school among the Midwest’s top public regional universities, according to U.S. News and World Report’s annual college ranking.
The university also remains listed in the top 40 among all Midwestern regional institutions offering a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s programs. EIU is the highest ranking public university in Illinois on that list, released today as part of the magazine’s 2017 edition of “Best Colleges.”
The region encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Rankings are based on schools’ academic reputations, student selectivity, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources and alumni giving.
“We are proud of our continuing recognition in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings,” said EIU President David Glassman. “It publicly acknowledges Eastern’s proficiency for blending academic excellence with a world-class overall student experience.”
The U.S. News rankings rely heavily on EIU's focus on personal attention. For example, the student-faculty ratio stands at 15:1, and only 3 percent of all classes have 50 or more students.
In addition, EIU continues to tout the highest freshman retention rate (77 percent) and the highest graduation rate (58 percent) among all Illinois public universities in its class.
The rankings additionally recognize Eastern’s commitment to military veterans, listing the university once again as a “Best College for Veterans” among Midwestern regional institutions (public and private). EIU was the fourth highest ranked public university on the regional list.
Schools listed in the U.S. News & World Report rankings were described as institutions that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degree.
To be eligible for the list, Eastern needed to be certified for the GI Bill and be a public school that charges in-state tuition, which can be fully covered by the GI Bill, to all veterans applying from out of state.
New this year is the criteria that a school has to be in the top half of its Best Colleges ranking category and have 20 or more Fall 2015 enrolled students using GI bill benefits to fund their tuition and fees.