Colleges & Universities

Illinois school makes Top 10 on U.S. News & World Report's 2024 list of ‘Best Colleges'

Northwestern University in Evanston and the University of Chicago made the list's top 20

Two colleges in Illinois are among the top 15 Best Colleges in the nation, with several others in the state and in the Midwest among the top 50, according to a new study from U.S. News & World Report.

The list, titled "2024 Best Colleges," released Monday by U.S. News & World Report, ranks 1,500 colleges and universities using 19 measures of "academic quality," with this year's report providing more emphasis on "social mobility and outcomes for graduating college students," a release said.

Because of the change, editors said, the majority of a college's ranking this year is based on more diverse outcome measures, including a school's ability to enroll and gradate students "from all backgrounds with manageable debt and post-graduate success."

Additionally, a handful of other factors were removed from the methodology, including class size, alumni giving, high-school class standing and the proportion of graduates who borrow federal loans.

According to editors, the new emphasis provides the "most significant methodical change in the rankings' history."

"The significant changes in this year's methodology are part of the ongoing evolution to make sure our rankings capture what is most important for students as they compare colleges and select the school that is right for them," executive chairman and CEO of U.S. News Eric Gertler said in the release.

The results, the release said, meant several schools that typically appear further down the list to jump higher up in rankings, including Aurora University and Northern Illinois University.

MORE: 5 Illinois schools land on WSJ's ‘Best Colleges' list, but the rankings aren't ‘the usual suspects'

However, at No. 332 and No. 269, neither college cracked the list's top 100 National Universities.

Several Illinois and Midwest schools did appear in the top 50, however, including the University of Notre Dame in Indiana at No. 20, the University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor at No. 21, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Madison tied for No. 35.

Closer to the top of the list, the University of Chicago landed at No. 12. Northwestern University, in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, at No. 9 was the only Illinois school to rank in the top 10.

The report also ranked the county's Top National Liberal Arts Colleges with some Midwestern schools scoring highly, including Carleton College in Minnesota at No. 9, Grinnell College in Iowa at No. 11 and Denison University in Ohio at No. 39.

Here's which colleges earned a spot on the report's top 15 "Best National University Rankings." Schools in Illinois and the Midwest are highlighted in bold

  1. Princeton University -- Princeton, NJ
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Cambridge, MA
  3. Harvard University -- Cambridge, MA
  4. Stanford University -- Stanford, CA
  5. Yale University -- New Haven, CT
  6. University of Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia, PA
  7. California Institute of Technology -- Pasadena, CA
  8. Duke University -- Durham, NC
  9. Brown University -- Providence, RI
  10. Johns Hopkins University -- Baltimore, MD
  11. Northwestern University -- Evanston, IL
  12. Columbia University -- New York, NY; Cornell University -- Ithaca, NY; University of Chicago -- Chicago, IL (tie)

According to the list, the University of California Berkeley and UCLA tied for the 15th spot.

You can find the full report and list of schools here.

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