Illinois

Illinois accommodates a student population of more than 615,000 with its 12 public universities, more than 45 community colleges, and dozens of independent for and non-profit institutions. One of the state’s major universities, the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, was ranked 45th of the top national universities by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015 Best Colleges rankings. The University of Illinois – Chicago, Illinois State University, and Northern Illinois University were also ranked in the top 200 of national universities by U.S. News. The state’s colleges and universities are overseen by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, which focuses on increasing the effectiveness of educational programs, ensuring college affordability, increasing production of high-quality postsecondary credentials, and forming methods to integrate the state’s educational assets to serve the needs of the state. The board administers state and federal financial assistance programs and collects student data information, which supports planning and budgeting activities.

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