Illinois State University

ISU's Watterson Towers

Illinois State University Fast Facts


Illinois State University (ISU) is located in the town of Normal, about 130 miles southwest of Chicago. Undergraduates at Illinois State can choose from dozens of degrees, and master’s students can major in many fields as well, including businesseducation, and social sciences and humanities. Some of the strongest programs are education, accounting and performing arts.  First year students at ISU can take the Learning in Communities seminar, allowing them to attend one of their first college courses in small groups with their peers and learn about each other and the university.

ISU students can also join more than 300 student organizations, write for the Vidette student newspaper, or play an intramural sport. More competitive athletes can try out for one of the many Illinois State Redbirds varsity sports teams, which compete in the NCAA Division I Missouri Valley Conference. ISU students can also spend their free time checking out the parks, golf course, and museum in Normal, or by attending one of ISU’s many School of Theatre productions. A few of Illinois State’s notable alumni performed in these productions and went on to become famous television actors, such as Jane Lynch, who stars in Glee, and Laurie Metcalf, who appeared in Roseanne.

Illinois State is looking primarily for students with a GPA over 3 and an ACT of 18 or more.  Students below a 22 ACT should include a personal statement with their application.  There is a university scholarship for underrepresented students and that is awarded based on applications done by the priority deadline.  ISU has a new Scholarship Finder you might want to use.

Additionally, there are $1000 Future Leaders leadership scholarships available here.


Location:  Normal, IL

Number of undergraduates:  18, 300

Percentage of Black students:  8%

Percentage of Latino students:  7%

Overall 4 year graduation rate:  42%

Overall 5 year graduation rate:  65%

Overall 4 year minority graduation rate:  20%

Overall 5 year minority graduation rate:  40%

North Lawndale Alumni graduation rate:  17%

North Lawndale Alumni persistence rate (Those returning to school):  44%

Percentage of financial need met: 75%

Estimated cost of attendance:  $26,016

Average indebtedness at graduation:  $22,800

Admission Contact:  Marlon Snipes

Alumni Network Contact:  Brittany Wiggins

Current Alumni:

Majors/Programs of Study

Undergraduate Application

Academic Support Programs:

  • Project Success  is a program designed specifically for students on academic probation. Participation helps probation students set academic goals, become aware of campus services, understand probationary policies, and ultimately return to good academic standing.
  • TRIO/ Student Support Services  Student Support Services at Illinois State University is a student-oriented program that provides support services to individuals who are traditionally under-represented in post-secondary education.
  • Club Success  is a free, weekly meeting designed to support your individual academic success.

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