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"Best Midwestern College," "Top Tier Midwestern University" Among WIU Honors

September 13, 2011

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- For the eighth consecutive year, The Princeton Review has named Western Illinois University a "Best Midwestern College," and Western is ranked among the top tier of best regional universities in U.S. News and World Report's Annual College Rankings 2012 edition.

Western was one of 153 regional universities, and one of three Illinois public institutions, named a "Best Midwestern College" by The Princeton Review. In the U.S. News and World Report rankings, Western is ranked 14th as a top public school among Midwestern Regional Universities. Western is one of 37 public universities included among the 110 Midwestern college and universities recognized as top tier "Best Regional Universities" by U.S. News and World Report.

In addition to the top tier ranking, Western is also recognized as a "best" institution by U.S. News and World Report for graduation rates; freshman retention rates; least debt (class of 2010); highest proportion of classes under 20; most international students; economic diversity; and racial diversity.

"Western has clearly established its national reputation for providing an outstanding academic experience for our students," said President Jack Thomas. "Our commitment to providing high quality, accessible and affordable higher education is consistently recognized. Using WIU's strategic plan as a guide, we will continue to enhance and refine educational opportunities for our students."

Western is listed 53rd of 110 public and private schools on the top tier list of "Best Regional Universities." 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: peer assessment (25%), graduation and retention rates (25%), faculty resources (20%), student selectivity (15%), financial resources (10%) and alumni giving (5%).

As well as the current recognition from U.S. News and Princeton Review, Forbes recently listed Western among the best of 650 institutions in the country, while Washington Monthly ranked WIU among the best of 553 master's universities in the U.S. Western was one of four Illinois public institutions included in the Forbes list. The other Illinois public universities included are national doctoral universities.

For the third consecutive year, Western has been recognized as a "Military Friendly School" by
G.I. Jobs Magazine. According to G.I. Jobs, the 2012 Military Friendly Schools list recognizes the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America's military service members and veterans as students. Western is one of eight Illinois public four-year universities selected for the 2012 list. The 2012 list of Military Friendly Schools is compiled through extensive research and a data driven survey of more than 8,000 schools nationwide.

For more information about Western Illinois University, visit and on the web or

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations