University News

WIU: U.S.News Best Midwestern University

September 10, 2018

Printer friendly version

WIU: U.S.News Best Midwestern University

To learn more about Western, visit To schedule a campus visit, go to Prospective graduate students can schedule a visit at


MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University has been recognized for the 14th consecutive year as a "Best Midwestern University" by U.S.News and World Report.

In the U.S.News and World Report 2019 rankings, of the 36 Midwestern public universities in the top tier, Western is ranked 10th in the 2018 Midwestern rankings. Western is also listed 53rd of 127 public and private colleges and universities on the top tier list of "Best Regional Universities." Western is one of just three Illinois public universities appearing in the top 70.

Along with the "Best Midwestern" ranking, Western is recognized by U.S.News as a "Best for Veterans School" (Midwest - #32) and "Best Value School" (Midwest - #52). Western was also recognized in the U.S.News rankings for graduation rates (six-year), freshmen retention rates, undergraduate business programs, undergraduate engineering program, least debt (class of 2015), highest proportion of classes under 20 students, most international students, economic diversity and campus ethnic diversity.

The institutions appearing on the "Best Regional Universities" list provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master's 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%).

"These continued national honors demonstrate that Western Illinois University is a world-class university. We are a leader in providing an outstanding affordable and accessible education," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "Our graduates leave Western well-prepared for the work force and ready to make a difference in our global society."

In addition to the U.S.News designation, Western was recently recognized earlier for the 15th consecutive year by The Princeton Review as a "Best Midwestern College," and as among among the best of the best, according to the 2018 Washington Monthly College Guide, which again recognized WIU as a "Best Bang for the Buck" Midwestern school, as one of the top master's degree granting institutions in the nation and as one of America's best four-year colleges for adult learners. Western, at number 13, remains in the top 20 among 385 Midwestern colleges and universities in the "Best Bang for the Buck" rankings, and is one of three Illinois public universities in the top 20 of the Midwestern school rankings. This is the sixth consecutive year Western has been highly ranked in the Washington Monthly College Guide.

Earlier this year, for the fifth consecutive year, WIU's distance learning program was recognized by U.S.News 2018 Best Online Program rankings. Western was ranked 60th out of 347 ranked colleges and universities from across the U.S. in "Best Online Programs: Bachelor's" category and was one of two Illinois public universities in the top 75.

Western Illinois University provides a variety of outstanding undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including 12 renowned signature academic programs in such high demand fields as accountancy, nursing, engineering, agriculture, law enforcement and more, select doctoral programs and a distinguished Honors College.

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing