Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 84.78

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL http://www.illinois.edu/
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is steadily building its reputation as a stellar research institution. It has been recognized for its high research spending, and its experts have recently made headlines for studying everything from coral to irritable bowel syndrome. The school offers more than 150 majors, including bioengineering, community health, media and cinema studies, and special education. Students also have access to the country's second largest university library system. (Only Harvard's is larger.) All that knowledge doesn't stamp out some old-fashioned superstition, though. As per campus tradition, generations of students have rubbed the nose on a campus bust of Abraham Lincoln for good luck before exams, and people who kiss at the Eternal Flame landmark are said to enjoy eternal bliss. The University of Illinois's flagship campus has a graduation rate of 84%, which Money finds is slightly higher than expected when compared with schools that have similar demographics. The university also scores well on Money's measures of affordability, with its estimated net price of a degree just over $100,000. Illinois was one of the first universities to make its campus more accessible to students with physical disabilities more than 70 years ago. The university has also garnered notice in recent years for its large number of international students, especially from Asia. Next time you're on campus, make sure to check out a performance by the Marching Illini, which composer John Philip Sousa once declared "the world's greatest college band."

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$32,000
% of students who get any grants
61%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$14,300
Average price for low-income students
$4,860

Admissions

Acceptance rate
59%
Median SAT/ACT score
1340/25
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
33,080

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
84%
% of need met
70%
% of students who get merit grants
12%
Average merit grant
$6,600

Student Success

Graduation rate
84%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Median student debt
$19,500
Early career earnings
$71,540
% earning more than a high school grad
84%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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