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Rank: 129

Illinois State University

The oldest public university in the state, Illinois State was founded as a training school for teachers. About 160 years later, education is still one of the top-producing majors at the school. Other popular degree programs include business, marketing, the social sciences, and journalism. With about 18,000 students, Illinois State enjoys an above-average graduation rate and an average cost on par with the national median. In addition to hosting about 20 sports teams, Illinois State also is home to the oldest of two collegiate circuses in the U.S. Redbirds attending football games will be sure to spot the Victory Bell, a five-decade-old bell rung every time Illinois State scores a touchdown. The campus is located about two and a half hours southwest of Chicago, in Normal, a place featured in a Ben Folds song and known for its student-friendly restaurants. The university's center lawn, The Quad, is the site of the Fell Arboretum where students come to unwind, socialize or study the dozens of species of trees lining the campus.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$30,200
% of students who get any grants
53%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$20,500
Average price for low-income students
$14,080
admissions
Acceptance rate
89%
Median SAT/ACT Score
NA/24
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
18,264
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
54%
% of need met
46%
% of students who get merit* grants
5%
Average merit grant
$3,087
student success
Graduation rate
69%
Average time to a degree
4.3 years
Average student debt
$21,250
Average salary within 3 years
$49,700
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
34%
key deadlines
Early decision application
N/A
Regular application
Apr 1

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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