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WIU: U.S.News Best Midwestern University

September 13, 2016

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September 13, 2016

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Western Illinois University has been recognized for the 12th consecutive year as a "Best Midwestern University" by U.S.News and World Report.

In the U.S.News and World Report 2017 rankings, of the 37 Midwestern public universities in the top tier, Western moved to ninth in the 2017 Midwestern rankings, compared to 11th last year. Western is also listed 49th of 122 public and private colleges and universities on the top tier list of "Best Regional Universities." Western is one of just two Illinois public universities appearing in the top 50.

Along with the "Best Midwestern" ranking, Western is also recognized as a "Best College for Veterans" (Midwest). WIU ranks 29th out of 44 Midwestern colleges and universities, and is one of two Illinois public universities in the rankings.

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%).

"In spite of the recent challenges that have faced Western and public higher education, Western Illinois University has been proactive and continues to be an innovative force. It is impressive that WIU retained its status among the top Midwestern rankings, given that the reputation ratings, which drive a large component of the rankings came out at the time the historic and unprecedented state budget impasse was at its peak," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "We were recognized for our efforts to continue to provide a quality education and stay on track despite the obstacles we faced. This recognition is because of the collaborative efforts put forth by our entire University community."

Western was 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.

In addition to the U.S.News designation, Western was recognized earlier for the 13th consecutive year by The Princeton Review as a "Best Midwestern College." In June, WIU was ranked by fourth out of 10 Illinois public schools as a top Illinois public university, and in the top 25 of best value colleges in Illinois. WIU is one of five Illinois public universities in the top 25 best value category among 35 public and private universities ranked. In July, College Choice recognized Western Illinois University as a 2016 Best Midwestern Regional University and the University's School of Nursing as a 2016 Best Online RN to BSN Degree Program. Western was among three Illinois public universities ranked in the top 50 as a Best Midwestern Regional University, and was one of two Illinois public university nursing programs ranked in the top 50. Western was ranked 44th and 18th, respectively, in the rankings.

Earlier this year, for the fifth consecutive year, WIU's distance learning program was recognized by U.S.News 2016 Best Online Program rankings. Western was listed 92nd out of 217 colleges from across the U.S. in "Best Online Programs: Bachelor's" category and was one of three Illinois public universities in the top 100.

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.

For more information on academic programs at, visit

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