Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality
It's actually not even close and Illinois is home to a handful of them.
While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.
Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Illinois are the best.
You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.
Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Illinois for 2020.
While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.
And for those who live in Charleston, Normal and Evanston - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Charleston ranks in terms of the best college town in America.
Finally, if you live in Skokie, IL - it's officially the worst college town in Illinois. Sorry, Skokie!
Read on to find out more or for more on Illinois check out:
Charleston is a city in and the county seat of Coles County, Illinois, United States. The population was 21,838, as of the 2010 census. The city is home to Eastern Illinois University and has close ties with its neighbor, Mattoon. Both are principal cities of the Charleston-Mattoon Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Colleges: Eastern Illinois University
Normal is a town in McLean County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town's population was 52,497. Normal is the smaller of two principal municipalities of the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area, and Illinois' seventh most populous community outside the Chicago metropolitan area. Normal's mayor is Chris Koos.
Colleges: Illinois State University, Heartland Community College, Paul Mitchell the School-Normal
Evanston is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States, 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, bordered by Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north. It had a population of 74,486 as of 2010. It is one of the North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan and is the home of Northwestern University. The boundaries of the city of Evanston are coterminous with those of the former Evanston Township, which was dissolved in 2014 by voters with its functions being absorbed by the city of Evanston.
Colleges: Northwestern University, Pivot Point Academy-Evanston, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Champaign is a city in Champaign County, Illinois, United States. The city is 135 miles south of Chicago, 124 miles west of Indianapolis, Indiana, and 178mi northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. The United States Census Bureau estimates the city was home to 84,513 people as of July 1, 2014. Champaign is the tenth-most populous city in Illinois, and the state's fourth-most populous city outside the Chicago metropolitan area.
Colleges: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Parkland College, Regency Beauty Institute-Champaign
Lisle is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 21,182 at the 2000 census, and in 2016 the population was recorded to be 22,930. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. It is also the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region III.
Colleges: Benedictine University, Universal Technical Institute of Illinois Inc, Empire Beauty School-Lisle
Macomb is a city in and the county seat of McDonough County, Illinois, United States. It is situated in western Illinois, southwest of Galesburg. The city is about 75 miles southwest of Peoria and 77 miles south of the Quad Cities. A special census held in 2014 placed the city's population at 21,516. Macomb is the home of Western Illinois University.
Colleges: Western Illinois University
Galesburg is a city in Knox County, Illinois, United States. This city is forty-five miles northwest of Peoria. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 32,195. It is the county seat of Knox County. Galesburg is home to Knox College, a private four-year liberal arts college, and Carl Sandburg College, a two-year community college.
Colleges: Carl Sandburg College, Knox College
Colleges: Concordia University-Chicago, Dominican University
Greenville is a city in Bond County, Illinois, United States, 51 miles east of St. Louis. The population as of the 2010 census was 7,000. It is the county seat of Bond County.
Colleges: Greenville College
Wheaton is a suburban city in Milton and Winfield Townships and is the county seat of DuPage County, Illinois. It is located approximately 30 miles west of Chicago which abuts the shore of Lake Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 52,894, which was estimated to have increased to 53,469 by July 2012.
Colleges: Wheaton College
To crunch our data on Illinois's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.
First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.
You might be surprised to hear that there are only 33 places in Illinois with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.
We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.
We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.
Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Illinois For 2020".
And it looks like Charleston placed Summa Cum Laude.
If you're looking for the best college towns in Illinois, you came to the right place.
These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.
If you're curious, these are the worst college towns in Illinois, starting with the absolute worst, Skokie:
For more reading, check out:
|8||River Forest, IL||11064|
|19||Palos Heights, IL||12534|
|24||Lake Forest, IL||19219|