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ISU ranks high in college economic value list

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Illinois State University was among the top 2 percent of schools with high economic value in a recent list compiled by the Educate To Career (ETC) College Rankings Index.

The list was based on the quality of students when they come to the college, the school’s tuition price and job market success after graduation.

Of the 1,222 colleges in the country on the list, ISU ranked 23.

“Our students will graduate on time and with a low student to debt ratio,” Greg Alt, vice president in Finance and Planning, said.

ISU’s six year graduation rate is 71.5 percentage, putting the college in the top 10 percent of universities nationally, Alt added.

ISU is also 9 percent points higher than the Illinois average, while its four year graduation rate is at 63.7 percent.

“Because our students graduate on time, they have low debt default rates averaging 3.6 percent, compared to the national average of 14.7 percent,” Alt said.

More than 80 percent of all students have gotten financial assistance in the form of loans, employment, scholarships, tuition waivers and grants.

“Our graduates are able to find quality jobs and salaries that allow them to not only pay back their loans, but also become active participants in the Illinois workforce,” Alt explained.

Alt also mentioned the benefits of ISU’s small-college atmosphere with large-university opportunities.

In addition, the university promotes high academic standards in teaching, scholarship and public service, while creating a supportive and productive campus community.

Up to half of ISU’s undergraduate degree recipients are transfer students, of whom the university goes to great lengths to welcome.

ISU currently offers 71 undergraduate programs, 43 Master’s level programs and 10 Doctoral level programs. The university also offers 10 Illinois Board of Higher Education recognized certificates.

In addition to these programs, highly trained and qualified faculty members contribute to ISU students’ education and future success.

Many of the aforementioned programs give students the chance to broaden their experiences — internships, student teaching and independent study being a few examples. These opportunities provide students to combine classroom learning with real-life work experiences.

The registered student organizations, athletics and civic engagement opportunities also greatly benefit the students who participate in them after graduation.

ISU is also known for its outstanding teaching program; the university prepares more teachers and administrators than any other school in Illinois. It is one of the top 10 largest teacher preparation institutions in the U.S.

“ISU’s conservative financial management has [allowed] it to continue its quality instructional programs during the higher education funding challenges of the past several years,” Alt said.

Currently, ISU has the second highest credit rating among Illinois public universities.

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