University of Illinois, other Midwest schools make Forbes’ ‘Top 25 Colleges’ in US – NBC Chicago


A handful of public universities in the Midwest including one in Illinois just landed on a new, elite list of the best public colleges in the country.

Forbes’ “Top 25 Public Colleges,” released by the magazine late last month, ranks state schools that “offer a world-class education for a fraction of the list price at top private colleges,” the report said. According to editors, the ranking, which pulls from Forbes’ 2023 ranking of the best 500 colleges in the country, evaluates return on investment, student success, student debt, alumni salary, graduation rate and more.

The list of 25 also includes some of the “oldest public universities in the United States, with histories that date back to the 1700s,” editors said.

The state with the most schools on the list is California, with San Diego State University and the University of California – Irvine, Davis, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles and Berkeley all earning high spots on the ranking.

In the Midwest, five schools made the list.

MORE: New ranking reveals top US high schools; several Illinois schools make list

Michigan State University earned the 24th spot, and Purdue University in Lafayette, IN came in at No. 19. The University of Wisconsin – Madison earned the No. 15 spot, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign came in at No. 9.

“University of Illinois is home to more than 9,000 works of art, over 46,000 artifacts, four theaters and four cultural centers,’ Forbes wrote. “Students have the opportunity to be mentored by faculty members who have been awarded Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes and the Fields Medal in Mathematics.”

The Midwest school that earned the highest ranking was the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

“The curriculum encourages students to make the most of all that the school’s programs have to offer,” Forbes said. “A course called Making the Most of Michigan is facilitated by upper-level students to help underclassmen navigate a new environment, connect with other first-year students, and build skills for career and leadership opportunities.”

You can find the full ranking and report from Forbes here.

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