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Rank: 20

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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 85%, which is nearly 12% higher than schools with similar demographics. Fighting Illini alumni tend to do well in the job market, reporting earnings of about $61,000, according to PayScale data. Illinois was one of the first universities to make its campus more accessible to students with physical disabilities. 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 2019-2020
$31,400
% of students who get any grants
51%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$17,800
Average price for low-income students
$8,360
admissions
Acceptance rate
62%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1420/29
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
32,884
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
83%
% of need met
64%
% of students who get merit* grants
12%
Average merit grant
$5,392
student success
Graduation rate
85%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Average student debt
$20,130
Average salary within 3 years
$61,000
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
N/A
key deadlines
Early decision application
N/A
Regular application
Jan 2

* 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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