What Others Say About Us

There are nearly 3,800 four-year colleges and universities in the nation, and a plethora of magazines and guidebooks seek to compare and contrast those institutions on a wide range of factors. Below are some of the major magazines and guidebooks that mention Illinois Wesleyan.

While the following information might provide some helpful comparative data, we believe the very best way to judge a college or university is to visit their campus and meet the faculty who will be teaching you, and the students you will be taking classes and living with during your college years.


Illinois Wesleyan is among just 245 institutions in the nation named in Barron's Best Buys in College Education.


Fiske Guide to Colleges

The Fiske Guide to Colleges describes Illinois Wesleyan as a college with an emphasis on creativity and the spirit of inquiry. "The school provides a multitude of paths down which one can travel and it is up to the student to decide which path to take," one student reports. "IWU allows you to become who you want to be, but only if you let it."


Kiplinger's Personal Finance

 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance calls Illinois Wesleyan University the 60th best value among the nation’s private liberal arts colleges in its 2013 rankings of the leading public and private colleges and universities. This marks the seventh consecutive year that Wesleyan has been included among the national leaders in this ranking of academic quality and affordability. Read more.


U.S. News & World Report

In the 2013  U.S. News & World Report  college rankings, Illinois Wesleyan moved up five places to 65th among the 240 national liberal arts colleges. Even more noteworthy was Wesleyan’s move into the top 50 in terms of student selectivity (50th) and graduation and retention rate (48th), which are key measures of student and institutional quality.

US News

The Princeton Review

Illinois Wesleyan has been included in The Princeton Review's annual listing of America's Best Colleges every year since its inception in 1989.

The listing, which is based on student surveys, includes 300-plus public and private colleges and universities, which are not numerically ranked. However, in the 2014 edition of America's Best Colleges, Illinois Wesleyan was also recognized on two special listings as having the 16th Most Popular Study Abroad Program and the 17th Best College Theatre Program.  

Princeton Review

Washington Monthly

Illinois Wesleyan moved up three places to 47th among private liberal arts colleges in the 2013  Washington Monthly College Guide.

These rankings are based on three criteria: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and Ph.D.s) and service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). In addition, Wesleyan was No. 47 on the new "Best Bang for the Buck" ranking, which includes 70 schools and is based on the economic value students receive per dollar.

Washington Monthly

The Washington Post

Jay Mathews, educational columnist for The Washington Post, ranked Illinois Wesleyan 10th on a list of 100 "outstanding but underappreciated" colleges in the United States. His book, Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That Is Best for You, was published in 2003 by Prima Publishing. In 2012, Matthews revisited these top 10 colleges in his column in The Washington Post

Mathews based his book on a survey of high school counselors and teachers, who identified Illinois Wesleyan as having "strong fine arts, liberal arts and sciences" and "an excellent success rate for students applying to medical school."

Mathews Book

College Access & Opportunity Guide

Illinois Wesleyan is included in the College Access & Opportunity Guide, a group of roughly 260 colleges committed to serving and supporting first-generation, low-income, and minority students on their campus and in their community.

College Access

America's Best Kept College Secrets

Author Peter Arango wrote, "If this book accomplished nothing other than bringing Illinois Wesleyan to the attention of the college bound, I would be delighted. Not only is Illinois Wesleyan the model of the effective, responsive, well designed, thoroughly successful small liberal arts college/university, it is also an institution that hums with positive energy and which engenders deep feelings of attachment and loyalty among its students and graduates. I won't say that this is a university that time forgot (many of its buildings are state-of-the-art), but there is a sense of mutual respect and affection that sets this solid college apart from many of its peers."

Americas Best


Illinois Wesleyan University was named among America’s Top Colleges of 2013 by Forbes magazine.


Colleges of Distinction

Illinois Wesleyan is described as "a true renaissance university where students are encouraged to explore all of their interests," and "Students have a host of compelling opportunities to enrich their education with off-campus experiences that might involve spending a year at Pembroke College/Oxford University or perhaps a semester in Washington D.C. through American University."

Colleges of Distinction

Open Doors Report

Illinois Wesleyan was ranked among the top 40 baccalaureate institutions for the total number of students studying abroad in the 2010 Open Doors Report (covering the 2008-09 academic year) from the Institute for International Education.

Open Doors