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EIU Media Relations

EIU ranked a top public regional university in Illinois


Graduation rates, academic reputation, financial flexibility key elements of the EIU brand


(Charleston, IL) – Eastern Illinois University is ranked the highest independent public regional university in Illinois, according to new data released by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine’s annual 2019 college rankings also list Eastern as the third-highest independent public university in the Midwest, which encompasses a 12-state territory including 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.

As part of their findings, U.S. News & World Report also revealed an above-average average EIU freshman retention rate of 73 percent, as well as an above-average student satisfaction rating. EIU’s strategic commitment to student outcomes also was factored in to this year’s U.S. News & World Report (USNWR) rankings. Data trends from EIU’s Career Services area demonstrate that 94 percent of EIU’s baccalaureate graduates were either professionally employed or enrolled in a graduate program within one year of graduation. In addition, EIU’s unique financial aid packages were a factor in how the university was acknowledged for creating maximum financial flexibility for students and families. EIU offers a variety of scholarships to assist students in funding their higher education experiences.

“Eastern Illinois University is proud to once again be recognized by U.S. News & World Report for our commitment to student success, quality academic programming, and for our esteemed relationship with alumni,” said EIU President Dr. David Glassman. “Our repeated high rankings from USNWR are a reflection of EIU’s enduring commitments to excellence.”

In addition to being named the top independent public regional university in Illinois, U.S. News & World Report also named EIU to its Best Colleges for Veterans list. According to USNWR metrics, EIU is categorized as a Midwest public regional university. As an independent university, EIU is not affiliated with a larger state university system.

In addition to the USNWR recognition, EIU also has been named Phi Theta Kappa’s 2019 Transfer Honor Roll for being a transfer-friendly university for incoming community college students, and also has earned recognition from a variety of third-party organizations for its affordability, value, and program quality.

Earlier this September, EIU’s official 10th-day numbers revealed a 3.7 percent increase in total student headcount enrollment from fall 2018 to fall 2019. In the same time frame, the total number of first-time freshmen increased by 12.5 percent. Eastern leaders point to several contributing factors for these increases—including the university’s more dynamic enrollment and marketing endeavors—but cite the university’s overall reputation for affordability, academic excellence, and student success rates as its primary advantage in keeping more Illinois students in the state for college.

For U.S. News & World Report’s full profile of Eastern Illinois University, visit

For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.



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Contact Information

Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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