U. of Chicago, NU in top 10, UIUC makes top 50 in latest college rankings

U.S. News annual report finds Wheaton, Knox rising

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign again made the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings. (Flickr/ilovebutter)

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign again made the top 50 in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings. (Flickr/ilovebutter)

By Ted Cox

Illinois placed two universities in the top 10 and its flagship public university in the top 50 in the latest annual college rankings released Monday by U.S. News & World Report.

The University of Chicago tied for sixth, which was down slightly from last year’s four-way tie for third, while Northwestern University continued to inch up, placing all alone at ninth after being tied for 10th last year and tied for 11th the year before that.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign held fairly steady at 48th, down slightly from last year’s return to the top 50 at 46, although it placed 44th as recently as 2016.

But, in something of a downturn, that was it for Illinois universities placing in the top 100 in the 2020 rankings released Monday. Loyola University in Chicago dropped from 89th to 104th, and the Illinois Institute of Technology also dropped out of the top 100, falling from 96th last year to 117th this year.

On the other hand, Wheaton College and Knox College in Galesburg both continued to move up in the rankings of top liberal-arts schools. Wheaton placed 58th, up from 61 last year and 63 the year before that, and Knox placed 66th, up from 68 last year and 71 the year before that. Illinois Wesleyan at 80th, Augustana and Lake Forest College, tied at 92nd, and Principia College in Elsah at 100th all made the top 100.

DePaul University slipped to 125th after placing 119th last year, the University of Illinois at Chicago placed 132nd, down from 129th last year, and Illinois State University dropped to 197th after placing 171st last year. Southern Illinois University Carbondale dropped to 254th after placing 226th last year.

Even as a private school, Northwestern nonetheless placed 14th on a ranking of schools by best value, and the U. of C. was 17th in best value, even as it became the first major university to crack the $80,000-a-year level this fall. IIT was 36th in best value and DePaul 59th.

UIUC tied for 14th among public universities nationally and also maintained its place in the top 10 among engineering schools, where it was tied for sixth. UIC placed 60th among public universities, and ISU made the top 100 at 98th.

IIT made the top 10 in highest percentage of international students, at 18 percent, and UIUC tied for 18th in that category at 15 percent.