#8 Best Public Universities in Illinois

Western Illinois University

Macomb, Illinois

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Western Illinois University overview
Location Macomb, Illinois
Online wiu.edu
School Type Public 4 Year
Setting Remote Town
Western Illinois University overview
Size Mid-size
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad/Graduate
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Western Illinois University (WIU), located in Macomb, Illinois, is a public university founded in 1899. The campus offers a rural setting approximately 75 miles from the Quad Cities and about 60 miles from Peoria, offering students the tranquility of a small-town atmosphere with access to urban amenities. Known for its sprawling, scenic surroundings and traditional architecture, WIU provides a conducive environment for academic pursuits. The university offers a diverse array of undergraduate and graduate programs with particular recognition in fields such as law enforcement and justice administration, agriculture, and business. With a moderately selective admissions process, WIU attracts a diverse student body seeking both academic rigor and a variety of extracurricular activities. The university supports residential students with on-campus housing options ranging from traditional residence halls to apartment-style living. While WIU's athletic teams, known as the Leathernecks, compete in the NCAA Division I Summit League, the institution is not predominantly known for its athletics.

In the most recent statistical year 9,219 prospective students applied, and 6,914 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 1,074 enrolled in the school.  5,736 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 1,907 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $9,515 plus fees of $4,891. Western Illinois University is ranked 579 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












Western Illinois University is rated within the top 50% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 6 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for Western Illinois University within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Extremely Easy
Western Illinois University overview
SAT 880/1090
ACT 18/24
GPA 3.45

Applications Accepted

Western Illinois University overview
Applications Due -
Applicant Competition Low
Application Fee $30

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Annual Cost to Attend


Costs for Western Illinois University
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,200
Other Fees$4,891
Room and Board $10,500
Budget for Other Expenses$2,021
Total One Year Cost$28,127

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

$46,000 per year

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

53% within 6 years

Explore Post Graduation Outcomes

Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by Western Illinois University students
Subject Percent of Class
Business 16%
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting 14%
Liberal Arts and Humanities 12%
Education 8%
Communication 6%

View All 65 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=149772 IPEDS survey data for Western Illinois University.

Current students may use the Western Illinois University GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.