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What Are the Best Colleges in Illinois?

08/11/2014 12:11 pm ET | Updated Oct 11, 2014

Forbes came out with their 2014 ranking of colleges in the United States and four Illinois colleges appear in the top 100. Unlike U.S. News and World Report's rankings, Forbes combines all schools, from small liberal arts colleges to large STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) schools.

From Forbes:

This year it comes down to small, student-centric, liberal arts colleges vs. large, brainy, research-oriented universities closely associated with science, technology, engineering and math. The FORBES 7th annual Top Colleges ranking reveals higher education in flux, ongoing debate between the value of liberal arts vs. STEM degrees and a winning formula of high student satisfaction and graduation rates, alumni career success and low student debt.

While the elite liberal arts and STEM schools are neck-and-neck in the ranking race, their similarities are unmistakable: age, location, endowment and low debt for students. Colleges are like a fine wine. The average age of the top 100 colleges is a venerable 170 years, with an average founding date of 1843.

We pulled out the 15 highest-ranked Illinois schools. The top two both placed in the top 25 overall. The rankings of seven of the Illinois schools are below, with their national rank in parentheses.

15. Illinois State University (#478)

14. Elmhurst College (#459)

13. University of Illinois, Chicago (#361)

12. DePaul University (#320)

11. Loyola University Chicago (#312)

10. Bradley University (#278)

9. Illinois Wesleyan University (#253)

Head over to Reboot Illinois to see the top eight colleges in Illinois, including two that ranked in the top 25 nationally.