University News

WIU: U.S. News Best Midwestern University

September 9, 2015

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University has been recognized for the 11th consecutive year as a "Best Midwestern University" by U.S.News and World Report.

In the U.S.News and World Report 2015 rankings, Western is listed 46th of 113 public and private schools on the top tier list of "Best Regional Universities." Western is one of four Illinois public universities appearing in the top 50. Of the 39 Midwestern public universities included, Western ranked 11th, among the 113 Midwestern universities recognized as a "Best Midwestern University."

Along with the "Best Midwestern" ranking, Western is also recognized as a "best" institution by U.S.News and World Report for best online degree programs. WIU ranks 63rd out of 142 universities and colleges listed from across the U.S., and one of three Illinois public universities in the top three.

The institutions appearing on the "Best Regional Universities" list provide a full range of undergraduate majors and masters programs, but offer few, if any, doctoral programs. The rankings are based on several measures: assessment of excellence (22.5%), graduation and retention rates (22.5%), faculty resources (20%), student selectivity (12.5%), financial resources (10%), graduation rate performance (7.5%) and alumni giving (5%).

"For 11 years, Western has been recognized as a top Midwestern university by U.S.News, and for 12 years, The Princeton Review has named Western a 'Best Midwestern College.' These designations are a testament to the outstanding education and excellent resources we provide our students," said President Jack Thomas. "I truly appreciate the efforts of our faculty, staff and administrators for making Western Illinois University the quality institution it is, as well as our students' achievements and successes."

Western was recognized in the U.S.News 2016 rankings for graduation rates (six-year), freshman retention rates, least debt (class of 2014), highest proportion of classes under 20 students, most international students, economic diversity, campus ethnic diversity, undergraduate business programs and undergraduate engineering program.

In addition to the U.S.News designation, Western was recognized last month for the 12th consecutive year by The Princeton Review as a "Best Midwestern College." In May, the University was recognized by the U.S.News and World Report for offering a "Best Online Bachelor's Program for Veterans." Western placed 57th out of 185 schools across the nation and is the only Illinois public university to appear in the top 60 online bachelor's program rankings. In January, for the fourth consecutive year, WIU's distance learning program was recognized by U.S.News 2015 Best Online Program rankings. Western was listed 63rd out of 214 colleges from across the U.S. in "Best Online Programs: Bachelor's" category and was one of four Illinois public universities in the top 100.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations